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"Rose Red"
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"Rose Red" More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Terrible movie

Author: Phil from Seattle, WA
23 December 2002

I have to admit that the special effects were pretty good; and the makeup effects were well done. But, there was not much else about this movie that I liked. And I just learned that they're making a prequel called "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer." I guess somebody at ABC liked it enough to do it all over again.

The acting was lousy; there were tons of plot holes; and the writing was bad as well. I wish I had those 4 hours back!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cliched, unscary, cheesy, too long.

Author: panduh from New York City
18 June 2002

Ugh. Its bad. Its better than some recent trash like the remakes of "The Haunting" and "House on Haunted Hill" and the over-hyped, over-rated "Blair Witch Project", but my oh my it still sucks a big hard one.

First of all, the entire first half (thats two hours) can be eliminated. Its entirely expository. It could have been done in 15 minutes. The second half picks up a bit and we get some genuine scares here and there. One scene which occurred in the over-grown, hazy garden by the water fountain was very creepy. But its the exception, not the rule. If only the entire movie could have been like that.

Second of all, it is filmed too clean. there is no atmosphere, no weight -- its too bright and cheery. It feels like an episode of Gilmore Girls. The music is also drab and monotonous, reminiscent of "Outer Limits", but not creepy enough to raise the goosebumps. The night scenes are better because there are shadows everywhere, and that, in and of itself, creates a scarier setting, but many of the supposedly "scary" scenes unfortunately occur in broad daylight.

Third, its too matter-of-fact. Ghosts just pop out and say "how do you do?" There is no mystery, no suspense, no teasing, no build-up. The camera lingers on the ghosts too long. We sometimes see the ghost just standing around doing nothing, scratching their butts. What the heck?

We see the ghosts too early, too often, and we actually get to know them a little too well to be scary. Also, and this is major: TOO MUCH FAKE-LOOKING CGI!! God! Nothing ruins a ghost movie more than overuse of bad CGI. Its happened again and again before and its happened here as well.

Fourth, the acting sucks and the script sucks. The dialogue is stilted, the characters are cliched stereotypes and nothing make sense. It gives us just enough insight to makes us curious about whats happening at the house and want to seek answers, and leaves EVERYTHING unanswered.

Well. All I can say is, the director is a no-talent hack, and King cannot write for films at all. I cannot recommend this movie, because I feel there are too many other better and scarier movies out there, like "It". A TV miniseries based on a King novel but adapted for the screen by Lawrence Cohen. Its one of the scariest TV movies I've ever seen, and with exception to the ultra-lame ending (which I guess can't be helped) hits all the right buttons.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This film is too long, way too long!

Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg
16 May 2002

Rose Red is not about Tea, but a haunted mansion. This team of psychics and an University Professor go to investigate. The film starts out strong, with interesting characters, and sub plots. Stephen King must create characters from real life experiences. The god complexes of the university profs is close to what I experienced last semester. How, one person can be cruel, righteous, and have the only right opinion amazes me. The blue collar hard nose dad, with his street smarts, who finds it hard to deal with his daughter abilities is accurate. If one rents this film do not watch this all at once. It's a chore, this is a mini series not a film. Because of its length the film drags, too detailed, repeats itself, and unravels too slowly. I found the ending disappointing, a long build up with a wimpering ending. Longer books usually translate badly on film, I wish they cut about 1/2 hour of this film. Maybe, rent it. 5/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Seen better

Author: ctomvelu from usa
11 May 2002

This mix of THE HAUNTING, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, FIRESTARTER, THE SHINING, LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, EVIL DEAD, CARRIE and even MISERY leaves a lot to be desired. It is far too long, as it was originally a TV miniseries, and the padding really shows on video. It is also choppily edited with scenes that don't always match up. At least the commercials are absent. The autistic gal is a cutie, although her so-called connection to the house is never explained. Julian Sands, God bless him, is a standout as a heroic psychic. Nancy Travers as the expedition leader is way over the top. Better casting might have helped, but the story is a mess. Are the house's inhabitants vampires, ghosts or ghouls? Maybe they are all three. Who knows? The story borrows much too liberally from the abovenamed sources. At times it plays like a greatest hits compilation of Stephen King characters. The autistic gal is clearly Carrie/Firestarter, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out what she is going to do that nasty old house. A nerdy psychic's mom is straight out of MISERY. And so on. The movie suffers terribly when compared to other King TV efforts like IT and SALEM'S LOT. One nice touch: a whorehouse-style hall that seems to run on into infinity. Low point: the mostly bad SFX, especially some animatronic creatures that will make you think of the Cryptkeeper from TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Watch this only if you are a King completist.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Terribly, just plain terrible

Author: dlaplant1 from New York
19 February 2002

I can't believe there was anyone who liked Rose Red. I am a huge King fan, having read around 30 of his books and seen nearly all the movies. I watched this movie waiting for it to get better. It didn't.

Rose Red was filled with unexplicable and out of character actions like people running off into the woods, one lady suddenly going off to get some iced tea, the older sister leaving her little sister alone or out of her sight countless times, and many more. I realize that the tried and true method for killing off characters is to have them go off on their own or in twos, but this was just ridiculous and totally killed this movie for me. To make things worse, Dr. Joyce and Emory were played way over the top. Dr. Joyce seemed to inexplicably transform herself from one episode to the next and Emory was simply trying too hard to be weird. The fortunate, untimely, and eerie death of David Dukes did little to harm the film as there were many loose ends that were not tied up.

On the other hand there was an interesting story underneath and there were a few scary points mixed in with the bad acting, writing and directing. But in the end even without the commercials, this movie stole five hours of my life that I will never be back. Save yourself the same fate. Don't watch this movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Convoluted Mess

Author: the_unsung_hero from Maine
8 February 2002

With actors the caliber of Nancy Travis and Julian Sands with The Master of Printed Terror Stephen King at the writing helm, how can you lose? Apparently quite easily. The script is amazingly un-king like, focusing less on the subtle nature of King's usual work and going full throttle with visual effects that look like dog turd. The script also uncharacteristically ignores strong characterisation and coherent plot, as so many explanations arise that the viewer cannot possibly get what's going on. Characters get killed off randomly, and performances and strong moments slice wildely off course, particularly the over-the-top performance of Nancy Travis. Julian Sands, Matt Keesler, attractive Melanie Lynsky and charming Kimberly J. Brown turn out better performances, but it's Matt Ross who truly steals the show as the only truly developed character. Those few actors are the only reasons to watch this otherwise incomprehensible mess.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

King is going downhill

Author: Wander Clark (
7 February 2002

This movie was a poor effort on Mr. King's part. He seems to put more attention on the MacGuffin and less on the events at hand that are supposed to bring these characters together for an interesting series of events. What we get is "Hell House" House on Haunted Hill, and the Haunting" retold. Sadly, "Scary Movie 2" had more originality and the exact same plot. Also parts of THe SHining, Firestarter, Carrie, and anything about the Winchester House were also involved. I was just waiting for the Volvo to start up outside, rebuild itself, and play bad to the bone" (ala Christine)

The actor who played Emory was somewhat enjoyable at first, but everything just seems to creep by at the King pace that ultimately runs it into the ground. There were no real surprises, and we get no real explanation why the Rednaurs look old, except Nancy Travis explains that they are "vampire like", but yet their ghost-like. I suppose the inexplicable is supposed to remain inexplicable, but it seems like a copout. Most of the characters lacked depth, as seen by Nancy Travis, David Dukes, et al. Very disappointing. Congrats to Judith Ivey for allowing herself to look old like that, though. And the movie had some pretty good special effects.

No wonder King is going to retire. I struggled through bag of bones last year, it too was a dissapointment for some King fans. But he has written some great stuff, he just tends to write more voluminously and less great at times.

Wish I had those 6 hrs back

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not very scary, not very engrossing, not very good.

Author: Meredith P. (Etoile) from Washington, DC
5 February 2002

While Stephen King has written some excellent works and some of those have worked very well on film, this is not one of them. The haunted house theme has been done over and over, and King just reuses the same old tricks. The movie is not scary, but is actually rather comical - the characters are all stereotypes and only a few of them possess any actual depth. The miniseries was amusing enough but I certainly wouldn't want to watch it again. This was a promising concept that was unfortunately not carried out well. The primary bright spot comes from Matt Ross's performance as Emery, one of the few truly interesting characters in the film. Kimberly J. Brown's portrayal of Annie was supposed to be a big draw, but I found the character unbelievable, unrealistic, unlikeable, and had no sympathy for the girl who was supposed to earn sympathy more than anyone else.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You'll yawn! You'll snore!! You'll switch channels!!!

Author: lordhack_99 from hingham, mass., usa
5 February 2002

Like all King mini-series, this is stretched, yet unfilled. I could not care less about the idiotic characters/caricatures. To think that poor Dukes died making this crap.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Plagiarism run amok

Author: Denise Steffanus from United States
3 February 2002

Stephen King should have titled this stinker "The Haunting of Hell House on Haunted Hill." King steals all the cliche gimmicks of classic haunted-house flicks and parades them as his own. It lacks imagination, dialogue is trite, and every scene is predictable. "Rose Red" leads one to wonder if this is King's subtle attempt at camp or just a result of the solid knock in the head he received in the hit-and-run accident.

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