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Cooper Raiff
Cooper Raiff, Dylan Gelula, Amy Landecker
Writing Credits:
Cooper Raiff

A homesick college freshman goes to a party at Shithouse and ends up spending the night with his sophomore RA who's had a shitty day and wants someone to hang out with.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English PCM 2.0
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 5/18/2021

• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers
• Short Film
• Trailer & Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Shithouse [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 19, 2021)

When I write reviews, I try to keep things “family friendly” and avoid profanity. When I deal with a movie called Shithouse, though, I find little wiggle room.

What else can I do but say “fuck it” and go with the flow?

College freshman Alex Malmquist (Cooper Raiff) lacks a connection to university life and enjoys few social outlets. Awkward as he may feel, though, he decides to take risk and attend a bash at a famed “party fraternity” known as “Shithouse”.

While at this shindig, Alex appears to bond with fellow student Maggie Hill (Dylan Gelula), but when he pursues her the next day, she blows him off. Eager to reclaim this sensation, Alex tries to get back this link.

When I enter a release from a person who writes, directs and stars in the movie, my inner cynic rises to the fore. Too many of these kinds of flicks exist mainly as vanity projects meant to accelerate the writer/director/actor’s career.

I become even more skeptical when I find an auteur the age of Raiff. Only 23 during production, he seems awfully young to bite off the aspirations of Shithouse.

Still, Raiff’s youth doesn’t condemn Shithouse to become a dud. Even in the well-worn “coming of age” style narrative, the film shows promise.

Unfortunately, Shithouse squanders any potential with a turgid tale. Slow and nearly devoid of anything to make it interesting, this turns into a tough slog.

Alex and Maggie’s “big night” fills a tremendous amount of the running time. They connect at about the 18-minute mark and they don’t split up until 1:00:45.

If Raiff found compelling material to fill that 42-minute span, this would seem like time well spent. However, Raiff creates two characters who never seem even vaguely interesting and he sticks them with dialogue that takes us nowhere.

On one hand, you could argue that a conversation between two 19-year-olds probably should seem random and pointless. I certainly don’t claim my college chats offered anything other than misguided attempts at profundity.

If Raiff awarded faux “deep” dialogue, that would at least feel true to life, and if he gave the roles material with some actual cleverness, that would work too. Unfortunately, Raiff writes lines that never seem anything other banal and witless.

Again, perhaps one could argue that most chats between 19-year-olds – especially semi-inebriated 19-year-olds - should seem less than stimulating. Nonetheless, even if realistic, this doesn’t create an interesting cinematic experience.

Even though Raiff bases Shithouse off his own life, I don’t think the conversation boasts a sense of reality. Raiff’s dialogue feels dull but not believable, as the material comes across as bland and inert.

Matters don’t improve after Maggie and Alex split, as we find ourselves stuck with still more soul-crushing material. Alex quickly graduates from sad nerd to clueless stalker.

Clearly Raiff seems to want to portray Alex in a sympathetic manner, but he instead comes across as a whiny weirdo. Alex complains about how awful college after two cute women throw themselves at him? Seriously?

Raiff also seems too old for the part, as he looks 23 going on 35. Perhaps to compensate, he casts older actors for the other major roles, but since all looked younger than he does, this doesn’t succeed.

Really, nothing about Shithouse works. All at once, it seems slow, dull and pretentious, and that makes for a weak combination.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Shithouse appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a fairly satisfying presentation.

In general, sharpness worked fine. A little softness crept into the image at times, but those instances remained fairly modest.

I witnessed no concerns with jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. Print flaws also didn’t appear, and though grain was heavier than usual, that was clearly a stylistic choice.

Colors seemed low-key, as the movie opted for an amber overtone, with occasional blasts of teal as well. Few brighter hues appeared, but the tones seemed acceptable given the visual design.

Blacks were reasonably dark, while shadows appeared decent; they could be somewhat dense but they seemed okay. Given the movie’s low-budget roots, the picture looked fine.

No one would expect a sizzling DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from a character flick like Shithouse, and the audio remained decidedly modest in scope. The soundscape offered mild environmental information and not much more. This meant some ambiance in party scenes and the like but nothing beyond that, which made sense for the chatty tale.

Audio quality seemed positive. Music was peppy and full, and speech seemed natural and concise.

Effects had little to do but showed adequate clarity and accuracy. In the end, this became a “B-“ track.

A few extras fill out the disc, and five Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 35 seconds. These mostly feel like more padding, though a weird sequence in which Alex catches a classmate in whack-off mode during a test almost offers entertainment.

A short film called Madeline and Cooper runs 56 minutes, 13 seconds. From 2018, this represents Cooper Raiff’s original version of the Shithouse story.

Made for virtually no money during Raiff’s time at college, it offers a clear rough draft for Shithouse - one with even less stimulating drama, if that’s possible. However, because it concentrates almost wholly on the “big night” and lacks the long aftermath, it feels more honest than Shithouse. This means it proves more successful, even if it never delivers an especially compelling project.

A collection of Bloopers goes for three minutes, 11 seconds and mostly shows the usual giggles, though we get a few alternate lines as well. Those don’t become enough to redeem the compilation.

The disc opens with ads for How to Build a Girl, Babyteeth and The Sound of Silence. We also find the trailer for Shithouse.

With Shithouse, we get the first feature from Cooper Raiff, and the movie feels like a debut. Devoid of depth or insight or anything clever or stimulating, the film becomes a sluggish bore. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture as well as a handful of bonus features. Perhaps Raiff will find a groove with his next effort, but Shithouse flops.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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