REVIEW: ‘Worst Roommate Ever’ is a Real Horror

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Worst Roommate Ever - But Why Tho

I remember watching that episode of Buffy where she heads to college and has a roommate from Hell. She thinks things are off but everyone gaslights her into believing she’s obsessing when really, the roommate is a literal demon from Hell. That episode is one reason why leasing out a room in my home or even just booking a stay in someone else’s is a no-go. Now, with Netflix and Blumhouse Television’s Worst Roommate Ever, I have a whole new reason to avoid humans.

Worst Roommate Ever is a five-episode true crime docuseries that highlights four harrowing tales of seemingly harmless roommates turning into real-life nightmares for their unsuspecting victims when their malevolent and sometimes violent intentions are revealed. With stories from the 1980s and onward, the stories are fairly vast in range. One is about a serial killer, another is about a conman and the other two focus on stories of tenants who turn into squatters and violently snap.

Like with all true-crime series, there is a fine line that must be walked. Often, true crime ventures too far into propaganda or too far into sensationalizing and further immortalizing the perpetrator. However, when a series or film manages to capture and keep the focus on the victim, the genre works extremely well. That’s exactly what Worst Roommate Ever does.

Throughout the series, the stories counted are about focusing on the victims, their families, and how they survived the events. It features interviews with them and never loses sight of the impact. There isn’t a grand narrative of cops catching bad guys. Instead, it’s quite clear that the law both in the court and with a badge doesn’t particularly care about squatters. Now, that isn’t to say that the docuseries doesn’t talk to law enforcement, it does. However, it doesn’t use them to overshadow the pain the actual victims went through as we saw in Netflix’s Night Stalker. In Worst Roommate Ever, we see the events retold from the victim’s perspective informed by their appearances or told through their life if they couldn’t escape.

That said, some pacing in the retellings seems too fast. While one episode works two of the episodes, Be Careful of the Quiet Ones” and “Marathon Man,” it doesn’t work for all of them. The first episode of the limited series “Call Me Grandma” needed more time to unpack the sheer number of victims and pain involved. Exploring the depth of the story and trauma to those involved is what makes the final two episodes of Worst Roommate Ever the best it has to offer.

Episodes five and six “Roommate Wanted” is one story split between two episodes, taking into account multiple victims involved. It’s a slow build-up that shows a history of squatting, boundary-breaking, and ultimately vindictive behavior that comes close to violence before finally ending on the moment where he breaks. While the series as a whole does a good job at unpacking the danger of letting a stranger into your home or trusting someone to be their tenant, the beginning and end of the limited series are what makes it worth the watch.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from Worst Roommate Ever. That said, the limited series is a must-watch for true crime fans. While the crime is interesting, it’s the terrifying reality of how often the law isn’t built to help those who need it. Or rather, how someone who understands how to manipulate the law can make sure they’re in absolute control. There is a horror story being told here, and that’s what makes Worst Roommate Ever a limited series with a punch.

Worst Roommate Ever is available exclusively on Netflix March 1, 2022.


Worst Roommate Ever
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from Worst Roommate Ever. That said, the limited series is a must-watch for true crime fans. While the crime is interesting, it’s the terrifying reality of how often the law isn’t built to help those who need it. Or rather, how someone who understands how to manipulate the law can make sure they’re in absolute control. There is a horror story being told here, and that’s what makes Worst Roommate Ever a limited series with a punch.