Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Roommate

Go To

The Roommate is a 2011 horror-thriller released by Screen Gems. Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Alyson Michalka, Matt Lanter and Cam Gigandet star.

College freshman Sara (Minka Kelly) is randomly assigned to a dorm with a stranger named Rebecca (Leighton Meester). They start off as friends, but things turn deadly as Rebecca begins to obsess over Sara.

Despite its similarities (including a scene that is almost exactly the same shot for shot), it is not a remake of or a sequel to Single White Female as many people believe.


The film provides the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Sara, Stephen, and Irene. Tracy counts too, seeing she moves out of the dorms after being attacked before anything of the murders happens.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Rebecca may want more from Sara than just a creepily exclusive friendship or even surrogate sisterhood. At one point, she hooks up with Irene after kissing her. That could have been simply to overpower her at Irene's apartment though. Her behavior with Sara however is easily read as that of a jealous lover who doesn't want anyone between them (whether friends or other lovers), though it's never made explicit that she's attracted to her sexually.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Rebecca when she attacks Sara at the climax.
  • Asshole Victim: Sara's married design teacher who forcefully kisses her is framed by Rebecca for trying to rape her.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ax-Crazy: Rebecca by the end of the movie.
  • Bed Trick: Rebecca impersonates Sara on the phone so she can have phone sex with her ex Jason and later even dyes her hair to look like Sarah and sneaks into his bed to get his guard down before killing him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Stephen shows up just in time to save Irene, though it takes Sara to defeat Rebecca in the end.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rebecca, who pretends to be just a bit overprotective over Sara, but is really a full-blown Yandere.
  • Bound and Gagged: Irene after Rebecca kidnaps her.
  • Brains and Bondage: Well, either fashion designer Irene just happened to have a ball gag lying around or talented artist Rebecca went and got one.
  • Deadly Bath: Tracy is attacked by Rebecca while she's showering
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Rebecca is barefoot at all times in the dorms.
  • Fan Disservice: Rebecca attacks Tracy while in the shower, and rips out her belly piercing.
  • The Fashionista: Sara's friend Irene.
  • Frame-Up: After learning Professor Roberts came on to Sara and forcefully kissed her, Rebecca frames him for attempting to rape her, making a recording so he's fired.
  • Good Bad Girl: Tracy is really nice, she's just kind of flighty. Rebecca disapproves of this, very much.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Tracy, who drags Sara along to her parties. It's one of the reasons Rebecca thinks she's a bad influence.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sara. It doesn't make her a bad person, but her roommate is a psycho, her best friend drunkenly ditches her at a frat party, her (married) fashion design teacher (who she insisted on having) wanted her sexually, and her boyfriend spills beer on her and tries to take her up to his room five seconds after meeting her.
  • Hot for Student: Professor Roberts lost his job over it.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Rebecca's intention toward Sara.
  • Ironic Echo: "You were never my friend."
  • Kick the Dog: Poor, poor Cuddles, Sarah's pet cat who is killed by Rebecca when she puts her in the dryer.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Irene is a lesbian with very feminine clothing and mannerisms.
  • The Modest Orgasm: Sara and Stephen's first time is shown by silent close ups of Sara's face and mouth juxtapositioned with Rebecca's own as she touches herself while having phone sex with Jason.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Rebecca is a possible example. At one point she hooks up with Irene, who's a lesbian, though it's unclear if they had sex or this was just for Rebecca to overpower her. It's quite possible however to view her obsession with Sara as more than simply wanting friendship, since she acts very much like a jealous lover who can't stand Sara's having relationships with anyone else (sexual and otherwise). Rebecca's also never shown or mentioned to have relationships with men (of any kind), and she had a prior obsession with another woman.
  • The Reveal: When Rebecca takes Sara to her parents' house for Thanksgiving, her mother asks if Rebecca has been taking her medication. As Rebecca enters the room, her mother then says something along the lines of "Well, I hope you girls have fun!" Later, Sara searches through Rebecca's stuff until she finds the medication in question, noticing that the bottle is full. Sara looks up the medicine's name online, and finds out that Rebecca is (supposed to be) taking medicine for a bipolar/schizophrenic disorder.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Stephen only exists to be Sara's Love Interest.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Oddly for a horror movie Tracy wisely decides to heed Rebecca's warning and gets away from the dorms and Sara and ends up surviving the movie.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Tracy who flashes a whole party when she's drunk, prompting Sara to drive her home.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: Tracy gives us this as she disrobes in the sexiest way possible in her shower scene.
  • Shower Scene:
    • Tracy takes a shower at night in the college lockers when Rebecca attacks her and violently rips off her belly ring.
    • Rebecca is seen showering when she dyes her hair black to look like Sara.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Rebecca gradually becomes one to Sara.
  • The Tease: Sara acts like this towards Stephen.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Both Tracy and Rebecca in their shower scenes.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rebecca has one in the climax, after Sara tries to shoot her but fails because the gun is out of bullets.
  • Yandere: Rebecca is violent to anyone she thinks might get in the way of her and Sara killing both her cat and her ex Jason, as well as almost killing Irene.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: