Just in time for Hallowe’en, writer/director Michael McCartney’s very contemporary new horror/comedy Roommate Wanted will premiere at the Salem Horror Film Festival October 2nd – 4th, 2020.
An edgy cocktail of shocks, suspense and satire, Roommate Wanted is a comedic thrill ride with a fresh and diverse cast. Angelique Sabrina White shines as Maria, a pre-law student who shares a rented house with some carefree college roommates. Unhappy with her academic direction, and struggling with her romantic feelings for another woman, Kate (MJ Garcia), Maria also has money issues. The group is cash-strapped, and the sudden death of their unofficial renter necessitates their finding a new tenant fast, and they find the seemingly perfect new tenant in Dean (Jack Shulruff), who seems almost too good to be true. Of course he is, and the movie rapidly takes to demonstrating the hazards of renting to homicidal maniacs with multiple personalities. Shulruff effectively slides between the disparate personalities inhabiting Dean’s disordered brain, and he and White have a fascinating on-screen anti-chemistry.
The script is crisp, with witty, contemporary-sounding dialogue, and McCartney, a twenty year-plus veteran in front of and behind the camera, directs the blood-soaked festivities with a sure hand, balancing horror and social satire with seeming effortlessness. The movie’s solid production values, highlighted by Konstantin Frolov’s often dreamlike cinematography, belie its modest budget. character-driven thriller also features signature music and songs by acclaimed queer punk band GRLwood, who lend a distinctive musical voice to the film, marking their first cinematic collaboration.
“I’ve always loved horror films because they are the perfect combination of escape, artistry and subversion,” says McCartney. “I love the challenge of telling a story that has mixed tones, as well as delivering larger social themes masked with laughs and thrills.”
“We are so excited to unleash our film at Salem Horror Film Festival.” McCartney continues. “They completely understand and respect all genre fans. It’s the perfect fit and the perfect, inclusive audience for us. We just can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
Virtual festival passes for online screenings of Roommate Wanted, which is showing during the fest’s October 2-4 “Weekend I” along with other films and events, can be purchased at: https://www.salemhorror.com/store.