Shithouse: An Imperfect Window into Freshman Year

 In Comedy, Drama, Everything, Good
Cooper Raiff and Dylan Gelula in the film Shithouse


Directed by Cooper Raiff
Written by Cooper Raiff

The review:

Movies that capture transition periods are my favorite, especially of those that capture transitions around college,* so I greatly enjoyed watching Alex Malmquist (Cooper Raiff) struggle during his freshman year. This film is great at capturing the discomfort of not connecting,** and echoes a bit of Before Sunrise, though it also lingers a little too long in the middle. I’m also not thrilled with the ending, but enjoyed the performances*** enough to make it worth watching, though I do think the title could have been better chosen.****

The verdict: Good

Cost: $6.99 via Google Play
Where watched: at home

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*Either into college or out of college. I think those times, which generally feature the loss of established support networks, leave a lot of room for drama.
**The conversations Raiff had with his stuffed animal were both amusing and painful to watch.
***Dylan Gelula is great as the RA that Cooper spends the night with. Logan Miller (whom I last saw in Love, Simon) continues his mostly odious streak as Sam, Alex’s roommate.
****The name comes from a house where a party is held. The house is named Shithouse. The scenes spent at the house were few, and I didn’t feel like the title extrapolated to the rest of the movie in a way that made it worth its use of a swear.


  • College freshmen with full beards, do they exist? Did Cooper Raiff’s facial hair make him seem much older than a freshman?
  • Did anything about this movie seem similar to a college experience you had?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

Nothing IMDB, I found a rambling interview that gave me this factoid:

Jay Duplass served as Cooper Raiff’s mentor after Raiff tweeted a screener at Duplass with the caption, “Bet you won’t click on this link!”

Other reviews of Shithouse:

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Showing 3 comments
  • Patricia Collins

    I related to not relating to people at college, especially at my transfer school. How about you?

  • Allie

    I was sold by the title, not gonna lie. Just about to watch it right now so I’m hoping I enjoy it as much as you!

    • Patricia Collins

      I’m excited to see what you think! I’m glad the title drew you in. It’s kind of fun to say, as the guys on the Filmspotting podcast observed.

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