(Credit: Netflix)

Series

'Worst Roommate Ever': A harrowing account of malevolent roomies

'Worst Roommate Ever'- Domini Hoffman
8.1

True crime aficionados will probably lose their shit over the latest Netflix docuseries, Worst Roommate Ever. arguably one of the best docuseries produced by the streaming service, this five-episode series details harrowing accounts of murderers, conmen and manipulators who made their respective roommates’ lives a literal hell. If you are rooming with someone, be prepared to be shocked via this five-episode odyssey that will send you spiralling into a shocking abyss of the unknown. 

Devoid of melodramatic tension, the docuseries is told in the most compelling manner, including real-life archival footage, interviews with friends, families, detectives and others involved in these intense cases. The stories do not rely on atmospheric music to build the tension as it is pretty terrifying in its own right. The individual episodes, which are no more than forty to fifty minutes in length, focus on the victims’ stories and help unravel the events that led to such gruesome events. 

The anthology series is reminiscent of Netflix’s Catching Killers. With a series of sinister tales, it might scare the viewers from ever wanting to share their space with a strange ever again. Extremely well-produced, the show deftly juxtaposes the innocence and unsuspecting nature of the victims with the sheer malevolence and abhorrence of their vicious roommates. The first three episodes are individual stories while the fourth and fifth episode focuses on the same story. Although the series title is pretty amateur and cheesy, the content is extremely riveting and fascinating. 

The first episode is titled Call Me Grandma. It revolves around a seemingly nice and kind elderly lady agreeing to let a homeless man room with her. While her act is considered philanthropic and benevolent, her sinister intentions are soon revealed when the said man goes missing. After a series of investigations, the officers find sleeping pills stashed in her house, followed by several buried bodies in her garden, exposing her as a serial killing maniac of the 80s. 

The second episode, Be Careful of the Quiet Ones plays on the loner stereotype where a girl, visibly shaken and upset, makes a 911 emergency call to talk about how her roommate is scary and might lead to her death. The episode however progresses into unchartered territories, making an interesting and chilling story. Marathon Man is the third episode in the docu-series that emphasises how looks can be extremely deceiving.

A seemingly friendly athlete tries hard to hide his lies, mystery and violent past behind an amiable facade, only to find himself going to great lengths to protect that image. The fourth and fifth episodes are titled Roommate Wanted. It tells the story of the same mysterious and malicious perpetrator who manages to hurt multiple roommates in a sick, twisted manner. 

Fast-paced, straightforward and petrifying, Domini Hoffman’s Worst Roommate Ever deserves your unhinged attention. The devious tale of how seemingly innocent people turn out to be monstrous brutes will definitely strike a chord with true crime aficionados and armchair sleuths and generate interest in the original cases. Heartbreaking, frightening and intriguing, the docuseries retains the uniqueness of true crime, emphasises the predatory nature of the criminals and pays attention to the victims and survivors.