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Roommate, The 
Written by: on June 14th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 2008
Director: Hisaaki Nagaoka
Writer: Hisaaki Nagaoka
Cast: Midori Tahara, Sayori Shiozaki, Ryousuke Watabe, Akira Kuruta

DVD released: June 15th, 2010
Approximate running time: 73 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A young woman and her roommate, have their lives are turned upside down when unexpected visitors invade their sanctuary.

After being first exposed to the cinema of Hisaaki Nagaoka via his by the numbers horror film Slaughter Island. I went into The Roommate expecting more of the same.

The plot revolves around two young women who live together and their most unusual relationship. Even though things start off slowly. Everything starts to click once the relationship between these two women is more fleshed out. Violence wise these is very little bloodshed. With the bulk of the scares relying of eerie atmosphere. Which this film has an abundance of.

Performances wise the entire cast are very good in their respective roles. Especially Midori Tahara and Sayori Shiozaki, the two actresses who are cast as the ‘roommates’. Ultimately The Roommate is well crafted supernatural horror film that wraps everything up nicely with a very satisfying twist.

The DVD:

Cinema Epoch presents The Roommate in a letterboxed widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer looks pretty good. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look healthy. Details look crisp and black levels fare well. Also the image remains stable throughout.

This release comes with one audio mix, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. This is a dialog driven film and the audio while limited in range it is a more than satisfactory presentation. Dialog is clear and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack also come through clearly.  Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been included.

Extras for this release include trailers for The Roommate (1 minute 45 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Slaughter Island (1 minute 33 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Killer Car (1 minute 26 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and Scream Girls (1 minute 29 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). Other extras include a stills gallery and a behind the scenes documentary (20 minutes 54 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Japanese with English subtitles). Besides on set footage. The documentary features a few brief comments from the cast. Also included with this release is a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall The Roommate gets a well rounded DVD release from Cinema Epoch.

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