Staff Selects: Bad Roommates
To keep up with the horror theme and celebrate the release of The War with Grandpa, we’re talking about one of the most horrific things that can happen to someone, having a bad roommate. We’re not just limiting it to the type you’d find in a college dorm though, after all, what is a spouse but a roommate you’re legally bound to and a sibling but a roommate you can never escape?
This post-Scream 90s revival campus slasher in which a parka adorned killer reenacts various urban legends on unsuspecting college students bolsters a cast of then-rising names such as Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Michael Rosenbaum, Tara Reid, and Jared Leto. It also included a little 80s slasher reunion between Chucky, Freddy Krueger, and Halloween 4-5’s little Jaime Lloyd via supporting roles from Brad Dourif, Robert Englund, and Danielle Harris respectively. I’ll be discussing just how bad of a dorm-mate Harris‘s “Tosh Guaneri” is in 1998’s Urban Legend.
Anyone who’s lived on campus has at least had one bad roommate story to share; even those who never have, know from second-hand. Tosh gets my nomination for worst roommate, based on the fact that she’s the type to always have a sexual partner over without even the slightest courteous heads-up. Making matters worse, Tosh engages in very loud rough sex, often paired or preceded by blasting rock/goth music that can be heard from down the hall. Taking place in the simpler 90s where noise-cancelling headphones and smartphones didn’t exist, you were left with limited options aside from either confronting them mid-coitus or leaving your dorm into the cold fall night (where a slasher awaited). If that wasn’t enough, Tosh also found it in the best interest of her gothness to paint her entire side of the dorm pitch black. When she’s not blasting music or having obnoxious sex while you juggle finals deadlines and literal lurking death, you’ll find Tosh hogging up the shared computer and all of its dial-up Internet glory while smoking! But hey, at the end of the day, Urban Legend assures all good roommates with the overwhelming karma that few RAs possess, asking, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light…” [Lee]
If you’ve seen Antichrist, you probably think you know where this is going. The third act is a punishing display of violence, which I wouldn’t dare spoil, but also wouldn’t dare recommend watching. But no, I’m actually referring to the film’s less visceral earlier portion. Antichrist centers on an unnamed couple (played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who recently lost their young child. Her grief is overwhelming, and he, being a therapist, makes the unethical decision to treat her himself through sessions of psychotherapy. These sessions are disturbing in their own way, as he forces her to confront her own fears, psychologically suffocating her during her grieving process. To call the results disastrous is…quite an understatement. Many people fixate on the gruesome finale of Antichrist, but the psychological horror begins far earlier with Dafoe’s domineering husband setting the stage for what’s to come. [Kern Wheeling]
Lords of Chaos
If you find yourself shacking up with some of the world’s most infamous black metal practitioners, good roommates are going to be few and far between, but the subjects of this example really take the cake. Lords of Chaos sees director Jonas Åkerlund detail one of the craziest periods in the metal scene’s young history, circa late ’80’s/early 90’s Norway. The events I will outline here are heavy on detail, but only represent the precipatory events of an astonishing true story–one that will have landlords all over the globe striking off names like Necrobutcher, Hellhammer and Occultus from their potential client lists.
I will focus on two of the participants, Dead (there’s a clue) and Euronymous, who formed a group called Mayhem, and lived in a house together near their rehearsal studios. One fine day, whilst Euronymous was out on an errand, Dead decided to leave behind a present for his friend and bandmate, slitting his wrists and throat with a hunting knife before taking a shotgun blast to his forehead. If you find this lack of decorum disturbing, don’t worry, Dead left behind a note: “Excuse the blood”. How considerate!
Poor roomie behaviour, no doubt, but Euronymous really didn’t do his own standing any favours on his return. When he discovered the body, instead of contacting the police, he went out and bought a disposable camera and, after rearranging some items at the scene, took photographs of his (now) ex-roommate’s corpse, one of these ending up as a bootleg album cover. There are also rumours that he stewed some of Dead’s brain (unconfirmed) and collected shattered pieces of his skull to make into necklaces (confirmed). Delightful! Suffice to say I’ll be avoiding signing a lease with any folk with ‘flying on the black wings of death and spreading terror, hatred and evil’ listed as hobbies. [Chris Barnes]
There are few things more infuriating than a bad roommate (Carlo, if by some miracle you’ve decided to recognize that I exist and are reading this now, I’m referring to you) but the well-meaning doofus whose actions defy reason can sometimes be equally frustrating. Whether it’s watching them invent new methods of cooking that were never discovered by anyone else for good reason or trying to stack a bicycle on top of a television, the way some minds work will always haunt and perplex me but it’s hard to be angry, even at the failures, beyond the initial shock. Paddington is one of those types of roommates. Cleaning his ears with other people’s toothbrushes, creating an indoor version of Splash Mountain, and bringing unsavory characters to the house, Paddington is essentially a nightmare of a housemate. Yet, we would all be lucky to have our own Paddingtons. Yes, it’s frustrating when someone absolutely decimates the bathroom, but the attitude often matters more than the actions and sometimes a bad roommate can turn out to be a good thing. [Henry Baime]
Staff Selects antichrist brad dourif charlotte gainsbourg danielle harris halloween jared leto jonas akerlund joshua jackson lord of chaos michael rosenbaum paddington rebecca gayheart robert englund scream tara reid the war with grandpa urban legend willem dafoe
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