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By Mark Bell | July 14, 2013

An unemployed recovering alcoholic who has recently been kicked to the curb by his girlfriend, Sean (Seth Holbrook) is looking for a place to stay. Lucky for him, there just so happens to be a very affordable place that’s move-in ready. The only downside is that it’s a shared abode, and Sean’s new roommate will be the eccentric, slovenly and hirsute Matt (Matthew Nichols), who may or may not have killed his previous roommate.

Sure, technically the case was closed as a suicide, but as days go on, and Sean’s frustration over a lack of work grows, so too does his suspicions concerning Matt. Could he have killed the previous roommate? Is Sean next? Does “spilled the milk” really mean what Matt thinks it means?

Roommate Wanted is a dark, dry comedy with thriller elements. When Sean’s best friend Jared namechecks The ‘Burbs during the film, I have to admit I was already thinking the film shared a similar vibe. And that’s not a criticism, but like The ‘Burbs, which was an acquired taste for many, so too is Roommate Wanted.

It’s probably just that mix of dry comedy and suspense, as the film doesn’t go the oft-chosen road to absurd. For the most part, the humor is in the dialogue, with Matt the conversational oddity, and in the plight of Sean, who is really only paranoid because he’s got so much free time on his hands. Some will need more laughs than this one provides, and others would appreciate it give more mystery. It is a tough balance to strike.

I think the film finds that balance, however. It even throws in a twist (that you may have predicted), only to throw in another (that, well, yeah, you also may have predicted). It never feels contrived, however, and the pacing keeps it from getting boring. Still, again, this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

For me, however, I enjoyed the film. The dynamics of Matt and Sean, while they may appear set up for an Odd Couple-esque narrative, are far more natural. Neither is particularly officious nor too far in the slob department. Sure, Matt isn’t as well-dressed as Sean, but it’s not like he’s shitting on the carpet. Really, they’re not bad roommates for each other, save for the whole suspecting foul play thing.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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