“The characters are all strange, but none of them were strange enough to remain interesting.”

7E is perhaps best categorized as a mystery, with a dash of psychological thriller and horror mixed in. Unfortunately, the film fails to capitalize on any distinct genre, or plot for that matter, and ends up being an untidy, slowly paced film that leaves the audience with more questions than answers.

The film’s intro is promising. After Katie finds her roommate dead in his room, her stepfather, Paul, sends his nephew, Clyde, to keep an eye on her. Katie hasn’t recovered from the gruesome discovery, and has been spending her days doing nothing but sleeping. Clyde’s job is simple. He just needs to make sure Katie eats and takes her medicine, and maybe he can then attempt to get her out of her room.

7E
Written & Directed by
Teddy Schenck
Cast
Natasha Lyonne, John Savage, Brendan Sexton III
Release Date
10 December 2013
Bethany’s Grade: D

While Clyde knows Katie’s roommate died at the apartment, nobody will tell him how he died. His curiosity gets the better of him, and he decides to snoop in the abandoned room, where only a few of the past resident’s belongings remain. It is here where the potential for a good mystery develops. Clyde finds some photographs and newspaper clippings. The common bond between these items is a woman named Sadie, who was raped and murdered. Clyde’s interest in Katie’s roommate instantly grows, and he begins investigating Sadie’s case.

Though there is a solid set up of a plot, the film gets murky early on, and only continues to create a fuzzy story that is too scattershot to give the audience hope that there will be a clear resolution. Clyde is clearly a troubled protagonist, and at times it seems like he is the one who needs more help than Katie. He has strange visions and dreams. He acts almost obsessed with Sadie’s case, even though he really doesn’t do much to solve the crime with the exception of talking to two of her past co-workers.


The characters are all strange, but none of them were strange enough to remain interesting. Katie at first seems like a woman who will never recover from her roommate’s death, but it seems like a good dose of sex and flirtation is all she needed. Sam, one of the other apartment tenants, at first seems like Clyde’s closest ally, but after a visit to his apartment, it is clear that he is wrestling with his own unresolved demons.

And that theme is perhaps the connective tissue of the film. Clyde, Katie and Sam clearly have deep-seated issues that they do not want to face. Clyde’s involvement in Sadie’s murder investigation, and his attempt to get Katie back to normal seem to be his own way of helping himself recover from the death of a friend. But the problem with the film is that it is never clear how these issues really help Clyde. The film ends up being frustrating, in that it had so many places to go, but never quite arrived at any of them.

Review by Bethany Rose, Contributing Writer