Today: February 21, 2024

Flatmates From Hell

With horror thriller The Roommate coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 12th, we look at why you wouldn’t want to share a flat with its leading lady plus nine other people you’d evict as soon as you possibly could…

horror thriller The Roommate coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 12th,
we look at why you wouldn’t want to share a flat with its leading lady plus
nine other people you’d evict as soon as you possibly could…

Rebecca – The Roommate (2011)

White Female
(see below) for The Gossip Girl generation, The
stars that show’s Leighton Meester as college girl Rebecca, who
terrorises dorm-mate Sara (Minka Kelly) – pretending to be her, seducing her
mates or beating them up (got a belly ring? Becky will rip that out for ya), and
having phone sex with Sara’s ex. It all leads to a violent showdown that could
probably have been avoided if only Rebecca had taken her bipolar medication.

David – Shallow Grave (1995)
Any of the three Edinburgh flatmates in Danny Boyle’s blacker-than-black comedy
debut could qualify as Person You’d Least Like To Live With. Collectively
they’re a supercilious trio, sneering at wannabe additions to the household
before letting Keith Allen have the spare room, while Ewan McGregor’s Alex is a cocky little sod and Kerry Fox’s Juliet is hard as nails. But it’s Christopher Eccleston’s David who takes the biscuit, going totally
batty when the new lodger is found dead with a suitcase full of money in his
room, hoarding the cash in the attic and going after the others with a knife
when they try to flee with the wonga.

Hedy – Single White Female (1992)
The mother of all flatmates-from-hell
sagas, this nerve-shredding thriller stars Bridget
as fashion designer Allie, who boots out her cheating boyfriend and
takes in Hedy (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
– who seems like a wallflower until she goes ape, aping Allie’s style, stealing
her identity, murdering Allie’s ex with her shoe, and eventually holding her
hostage at gunpoint. If ever there was an advert for only having a cat for
company this is it.

Gil and Brynn – Bridesmaids (2011)
In this year’s biggest side-splitter failed
bakery-owner turned bitter jewellery store employee Annie (Kristen Wiig) gets two rotten roommates for the price of one in Gil
(Matt Lucas) and his sister Brynn (Rebel Wilson) – literally, since only
Gil is paying his share of the rent. The tubby (we’re being kind here) twosome
ransack Annie’s room, reading her diary and trying on her clothes, which makes
the trials and tribulations of being a maid of honour, keeping the bride’s new
best mate in her place and surviving Mexican food poisoning seem like a doddle.

Ratso Rizzo – Midnight Cowboy (1969)
The only X-rated film to ever win the best
film Oscar, Midnight Cowboy stars Jon
as small-town boy Joe Buck hustling his way around Manhattan and Dustin Hoffman as crippled conman
Enrico ‘Ratso’ Rizzo, who is railroaded into letting Joe crash in his pad. Bette Davis’s legendary “What a dump!”
putdown would have served the brilliant script well, since the pad in question
is a roach-infested hellhole that puts one in mind of legendary London landlord
Peter Rachman’s portfolio in the 50s and 60s and Rizzo is a hellish flatmate –
refusing to wash up or furnish the place and coughing his guts up all night

Felix Unger – The Odd Couple (1968)
Some critics reckon Walter Matthau’s slobby Oscar Madison would be a pain to live with,
but it’s Jack Lemon’s Felix Ungar –
who moves into Oscar’s bachelor pad after his wife jilts him – who turns out to
be the real nightmare. OCD in his spick-and-span-ness, he goes all Howard
Hughes in a quest for order and cleanliness, driving Oscar batty in the process.
Great lines like “It took me three hours to figure out FU meant Felix Ungar”
abound in this Neil Simon-scripted
comedy that concludes rent in New York may be horribly high but you can’t put a
price on having your own space.

The Demon – Paranormal Activity (2007)

A brilliant fly-on-the-wall horror film in
which poor Katie and Micah don’t want a third wheel in their suburban home but get
one anyway in the unseen abomination that has been after Katie’s soul since
childhood. And talk about bad company! He/she/it is noisy and violent and
whenever the object of his obsession tries to get a good night’s sleep he
throws tantrums in the hallway and drags her kicking and screaming out of bed.

Floyd – True Romance (1993)
Who wouldn’t want Brad Pitt lolling around on their couch? Er, you might think twice
if it’s Brad as Floyd, the shiftless sofa-dwelling slacker who thinks bong hits
are the height of quality time at home, leaves salty-snack crumbs everywhere and
couldn’t find the cleaning products even if you shoved them down the scruffy pyjama
bottoms he uses for leisurewear. Oh, and if you’re on the run from the heavies
and they pop round your apartment Floyd will tell them exactly where you’re

Spike – Notting Hill (1999)
You have to wonder what urbane bookseller
Will (Hugh Grant) is doing sharing
his Portobello Road pad with Welsh layabout Spike (Rhys Ifans). His underwear looks like it hasn’t seen a laundry
since, well, ever, his hair is a stranger to Head And Shoulders and he’d
clearly benefit from a scrub-down in the Silkwood showers. If Spike had been
the lead rather than Will then Julia Roberts would have been forced to amend
her famous line to “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy who needs a

Withnail – Withnail & I (1986)
Pretentious out-of-work actors aren’t great
company at the best of the times, and when they come in the sloppy shape of
Withnail (Richard E. Grant) they’re
unbearable. Wittering on about ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’
whilst smothering himself in Deep Heat to keep warm, he drives I (Paul McGann) to despair in their
hideous Camden Town flat, then drives him to a country cottage for an encounter
with lecherous Uncle Monty (Richard
) and pimps him out to the old perv in return for a roof over
their heads.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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