It’s from the writer of ‘The Fast and The Furious.’ Pray that it’s better than ‘The Vatican Tapes.’
The name Chris Morgan is synonymous with revved-up engines, daring heists, Vin Diesel, and ridiculous feats of action that defy the laws of physics. But his movies are so much fun that I’m 100% sure Isaac Newton sends his approval from the comfort of his grave. The writer behind the majority of the Fast and the Furious franchise is an expert when it comes to big, dumb action blockbusters, but his latest project sounds much smaller and scarier.
Deadline recently reported that Blumhouse has acquired the rights to the New York Magazine article, “Worst Roommate Ever.” The plan is to make a movie version followed by a docuseries for Blumhouse Television. Morgan is on board to produce and develop both, and William Brennan has signed on as a writer.
This also marks the latest Blumhouse property to be adapted for both the big screen and the small one. A TV series based on The Purge franchise is currently in development and is expected to land in the near future. But that series was announced after the film franchise had established itself as a hot commodity.
Still, Blumhouse makes ’em cheap and often good — and this is an exciting premise on paper. If you aren’t familiar with the article, it contains enough potent ingredients to concoct an effective horror-thriller. And like many weird scenarios, its origins can be traced back to Craigslist. When Alex Miller put out an ad on the site looking for a lodger to rent the spare room in her apartment, she was thrilled when she got a call from Jed Creek, a lawyer who needed a place to live while he attended to family matters. Normal, right?
It turned out that the perfect stranger was an imposter and a con artist named Jamison Bachman, “a notorious serial squatter and the ultimate Craigslist nightmare.” Over the course of the next few months, he made himself at home. At first his behavior was strange — removing bulbs from light sockets, reshaping furniture, threatening her with court action when she asked him to front his share of the bills. After that his behavior became more hostile and violent, leading to physical attacks and a stabbing. According to Miller, Bachman used his knowledge of tenancy agreements to stay one step ahead of her at all times. Miller wasn’t the first person to encounter Bachman either. So, if you currently have an ad out calling for someone to split rent with then maybe you should withdraw it. This could happen to any of us.
Presumably, the film adaptation will be a fictionalized account of the article. But it’s the series that has me intrigued. Will it follow a single narrative throughout the season? Maybe they’ll opt for an anthology approach with each new episode revolving around a different worst roommate ever? Either way, I look forward to seeing what it has in store for us.
This isn’t the first Craigslist-inspired horror movie in recent years. A joke ad calling for a roommate who was willing to dress up as and pretend to be a walrus every night in exchange for free rent served as the inspiration for Kevin Smith’s Tusk. That movie should have been better than it is. Elsewhere, the Mark Duplass-led chiller Creep follows a videographer who answers an ad put out by a psychopath who just wants to have his final days recorded. The sequel was released last year. Given that Craigslist is littered with horror stories begging to be mined by filmmakers, I’m sure Worst Roommate Ever won’t be the last time the site features in fright fare.