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Reviews & Ratings for
"Rose Red" More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Review of the Supernatural

Author: sef_dcs19 from Southern Illinois
27 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Three deaths occurred within one year of construction before the house was finished in 1909. Rose Red was given her name by Ellen Rimbauer (Kimberly Brown), the new wife of John Rimbauer's (Steven Brand). After Ellen died at the age of seventy, the house lay dormant. A woman on a tour of Rose Red in 1950 disappeared, and it was closed. Dr. Joyce Reardon (Nancy Travis) became interested in Rose Red as a way to prove her thoughts of paranormal activity being real. She is most interested in AnnieWheaton (Lisa Brenner) to come; she thinks Annie is the key to reawaken the house. Annie is an autistic child with the power of telekinesis. Eventually the house and Annie become one. The house is alive when she is awake and at rest when Annie is sleeping.

Rose Red owned Ellen and her life. Anyone crossed her or became more important to her would disappear or die in the house. Ellen lived a life of heartbreak and anger. Her husband cheated on her constantly. She loved her daughter, April Rimbauer (Courtney Burness), more than anything. April eventually disappeared. When Ellen finally died at the age of seventy, she was forever trapped in Rose Red. She remained at Rose Red after death to hurt anyone who came, just as she was hurt. There truly are evil places in the world. How else could we explain the findings that paranormal psychologist found? The message of the movie is that things are never forgotten even in death. If we are hurt that bad in life, there is the possibility of us taking it to the grave and beyond.

The audience must have the patience to watch a four hour movie. Of all the ghost movies I've seen this is the best even though it is long. I recommend it for a rainy day. The details which make the movie long don't seem contribute much to the film's plot. 'Rose Red' is not for the faint of heart: it is very gory and violent.

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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Very, very scary.

Author: Matt Carpenter ( from North Carolina
8 May 2003

I don't see why anyone said this mini was too long. I think it kept up a good pace all the way through. Some wonderful special effects for a tv movie. Some very creepy ghosts. Good acting all around. This has got to be one of the best Haunted House flicks I've ever seen. I saw it again a few days ago, and I'm still a little nervous about walking down a dark hallway at night. It was that good.

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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Another Great Stephen King Miniseries

Author: QuisitsTrepe ( from Ontario, Canada
3 November 2002

Okay, when I first heard of this film I was quite skeptical. Although I had enjoyed other SK miniseries' I did not believe that anything could make the haunted house horror films good again. I, however, was totally wrong. This film is great, it had action and horror and the acting was surperb. Julian Sands was excellent as he always is and the others were good too. The only thing that I did not like was the little girl who "woke up" the house. I do not like child actors if only for the simple fact that very little of them can actually act, this girl was no exception. Other than that it was a great film.

^_^ Have Fun!! Amanda

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: callanvass
10 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

great flick yes it's 4 hours long but never boring it had amazing effects and a neat little story background to it and lots of cool flashbacks VERY COOL looking ghosts great character development and a very cool looking house this had a great script lots of amiable characters and some creepy moments it kept me interested all they way and we have Julian Sands he cracks me up he is also a great actor i find a lot of Steven (yes i know i spelled it wrong) King movies underrated this was a very well made movie it isn't action packed but still it was engrossing and and a cool little ending i liked how the girl Annie could make the house fall apart very cool i deem this **** out of 5

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37 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Stephen King Writes "Autopilot"

Author: nycritic
25 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Once upon a time there was an author who could spin a good yarn about some horrific occurrence in some place, namely Maine, or Colorado. He had a way of slowly enveloping the reader with characters caught in a mystery that partially revealed itself, and while delving into the supernatural, plausibility was never sacrificed in lieu of ridiculousness.

Of course, once that author began seeing he could make money in droves by basically adapting older horror stories and horror clichés into new book versions, quality went right out the window, never to be seen again (except on rare, non-horror stories, tales about a coming-of-age, or crime novellas).

And of course, falling in love with his prose also became a trademark. Telling tales with a didactic tone in which everything is seen and even minor flashbacks have to be played out in extensive, overdrawn passages (which also, to me, indicates needing to play out the part of the best-selling author who has to maintain an image and sell large, fat books) made for even poorer storytelling. Not that long novels and multiple story lines don't make for good storytelling... as long as it's related to what's being told. (See Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass for a prime example of a book seventy-five percent too long and who's backstory stops this massive yet simple story dead in its tracks for almost 500 pages. By far, this has to be the most voluminous flashback in literary history, and I don't mean it in a good way, even though I have admired this author since childhood. But admiration doesn't impede me to see that he seems to have lost his touch and hasn't truly evolved in favor of "the best-seller syndrome.")

Thirty years after achieving success with Carrie, Stephen King has essentially re-hashed the same story styles over and over again and become wealthy and ubiquitous in the process. Rose Red, a screenplay adapted for TV, is a summation of all of the things I've been writing about: overlong, with too many unnecessary characters, derivative of earlier stories which in turn were remakes of earlier literary works, and as predictable as the weather. The archetype of a house gone bad, holding deadly secrets and hungry spirits within its walls. The lead character who either comes back to face his demons or becomes obsessed, like Captain Ahab, by its secrets and subsequently dives into madness. The overuse of a child's nursery rhyme (used masterfully by Hitchcock). The presence of the loud, fat overbearing mother who vomits forth screams of Judgement Day and quotes from the Bible. The unpleasant small man prone to self-preservation. The reasonable woman who suspects something is wrong but doesn't really come involved until late in the story. The psychic child who acts as the catalyst, sometimes creepy, sometimes verbose, sometimes severely damaged, and who has the monster mother (or father, or both) for baggage. The evil which cannot be destroyed, ever, like mold, and feeds on the psychic prana of unsuspecting humans (foolishly) drawn to it.

It would work if there was an element of parody to the genre, but when for jolts we keep seeing dead people open their eyes as they hang from the ceiling, obvious CGI creations that simulate walking zombies and speak in seductive voices, bombastic scenes of explosions and wind, and the milky white appearance of a girl who beckons an autistic young girl to come to her (twice) while nobody does anything to help, or that laugh-inducing ending where all the ghosts slowly creep over Nancy Travis who unconvincingly carries out the aforementioned Captain Ahab role best seen previously in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining under Jack Nicholson's performance doesn't make for a good or especially frightening movie.

And the dialog... can we say cringe inducing? Like Emery's preferred "bon mot," it was simply "not there." A prime example where less is more, shorter is preferable, and atmosphere is everything. Watch only if particularly bored or if there is absolutely nothing else on.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Rose Red: The House That Keeps on Giving

Author: woterfalz1991 from America
17 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dr. Joyce Reardon is a bright but slightly off-kilter professor on a mission. Having just had her tenure revoked by the head of her department of Psychology for her eccentric antics, Dr. Reardon needs proof of paranormal activity to prove that she isn't crazy and save her career. In order to obtain this proof, she decides to venture into Rose Red, and enormous mansion built by John Rimbauer for his wife at the turn of the century in the 1900's. Even before it was a house, Rose Red was taking victims. Its first being a construction worker who was shot by a crazed co-worker. After the fact, the co-worker said he had no recollection of the incident. This horror was the first of many. After Rose Red was finished and the Rimbauers took up residence in its confines, the "accidental" deaths and disappearances came in abundance. Despite the house's dark history and taste for blood, Dr. Reardon collects a team of psychics to go and wake up Rose Red. They soon find themselves trapped in a never ending labyrinth of death and mystery.

Propelled by stunning sets and well developed characters, Rose Red keeps its audience almost as trapped as its own hostages, despite a few sagging scenes.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Very gripping, good twist on an old story concept

Author: swaron from Texas USA
24 July 2002

This movie is well over 4 hours long and I hardly noticed. Remarkably, there is very little slow down and there is enough story to fill the space. The concept of a group of people staying in a haunted/evil house has been tried many times (Haunting, House on Haunted Hill and many more) but this one is unique. Rose Red is a Large mansion that has been in the same family for many years. Many people have been known to die there and the last remaining family member gives permission for a weekend ghost hunting retreat. A group of psychics is recruited to stay in the house under the "leadership" of a psychology/supernatural professor (Nancy Travis), who is very energetic and obsessed with Rose Red. The group, I thought, worked very well together and each had their own unique psychic abilities, which all play there part as a whole in understanding the house. Once the group is situated in the house, it is non-stop thrills, action, twists and pretty good special effects. The acting was above par, especially Julian Sands (Nick), whose character and portrayal was entertaining and convincing. All in All, all the actors did a good job of playing off each other's talents and characters. Very complimentary. Overall, there is a lot involved in this movie and it does have it's share of suspense, scary moments and originality. Even at 4+ hours in length, I would watch this again.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"How beautiful you are, Rose Red."

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
16 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Prof. Joyce Reardon teaches psychology and has a particular interest in the psychology of the occult. For her next research project, she intends to take a group of psychics to a local haunted house, Rose Red. The house is known as "dead cell" as it's been years since any reported supernatural activity occurred in Rose Red. It's Prof. Reardon's goal to use her team of psychics to bring the house back to life and gather physical data supporting her theories on the supernatural. But Rose Red is no ordinary haunted house. It's the granddaddy of haunted houses. Over the years, it's been responsible for the deaths or disappearances of dozens of people. What will happen if Prof. Reardon's team is successful in their mission? And will anyone be left to tell their story?

Even for a writer as gifted and talented as Stephen King, coming up with original ideas for a haunted house film is difficult. It seems that every haunted house movie made since 1963 follows the pattern set out by The Haunting. Rose Red is no different – a notorious house with a deadly history, a scientist looking to uncover its mysteries, a group of psychics, etc. So Rose Red gets no bonus points for an original story idea. But its execution is very nicely done. Because Rose Red was originally conceived as a miniseries, there's time to get to know a little something about the characters. It gives a little more substance to the danger they face. This extra time also allows for atmosphere – something that I've argued is missing from a lot of modern horror. The special effects are also quite good. I was especially impressed with some of the lighting, miniature, and matte effects. And the acting is better than I would have expected. Julian Sands has always been a favorite of mine and he does not disappoint here.

The only negative aspects of the film that immediately come to mind are the movie's finale and some ill-placed comedy. The ending of the movie is extremely muddled. I've seen Rose Red three times now and still have trouble deciding just what is behind the haunting (vampire, ghost, or something else). And the comedy featuring Prof. Reardon's colleague Prof. Carl Miller is really out of place given the tone of most of the rest of the movie.

Overall, if you're a fan of haunted house films like The Haunting or The Legend of Hell House, don't let Rose Red's 240 minute runtime put you off. It's about the best "traditional" haunted house movie I can think of from the last 20 years.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

High quality horror from the master of creepy tales...

Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
10 October 2008

If you like haunted house stories, this Stephen King tale is for you.

ROSE RED is a high quality horror tale from the master of the genre, his ability to spin a creepy tale never seeming to diminish.

The real star of the film is the mansion itself, as terrifyingly real as possible despite the use of miniatures for many of the shots, all of its corridors and rooms magnificently photographed and obviously sparing no expense for a TV film that was part of a mini-series.

The story tends to drag once in awhile but the horror is gripping enough to sustain interest throughout the lengthy tale. NANCY TRAVIS is excellent as the off-kilter psychology professor willing to undertake an experiment with other psychics at Rose Red, a haunted mansion known for devouring its occupants. MATT ROSS, as Emery, a spineless mama's boy who pays dearly for entering the premises, is another who stands out among the largely unfamiliar names in the cast.

Especially good are David DUKES as Professor Miller, MATT KEESLAR as Steve, JULIAN SANDS as Nick and LAURA KENNY, a screaming delight as the possessive Mrs. Waterman.

But again, it's the atmospheric house itself and the many special effects that have it reaching out to get its hooks on unlucky victims, both in and outside the mansion, that keeps the story spinning in a very compelling sort of way. The photography captures every menacing moment in the sometimes opulent interiors, as well as the rotting decay when the spirits of the undead make their presence known.

Very intense at certain moments, it may well have been even more effective if the opening scenes did not seem so padded before the events switch to the house itself. Once Rose Red is entered, the fun begins.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What you get when you cross the Winchester Mystery House with The Haunting of Hill House

Author: dwr246 from United States
26 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I generally enjoy adaptations of Steven King stories, especially when he does the adapting, and this was no exception. It has some surprising weaknesses, but all in all it was a very enjoyable movie.

The story focuses on Professor Joyce Reardon (Nancy Travis), a professor of psychology, whose fascination with the paranormal, and obsession with the mansion called Rose Red, have earned her the scorn of her department head, Professor Carl Miller (David Dukes). In fact, Prof. Miller's only desire in life seems to be to discredit Joyce, and to that end he has hired reporter Kevin Bollinger (Jimmi Simpson) to spy on her, take damaging pictures, and write damaging articles. While Miller sees Joyce's obsession with Rose Red as a way to completely humiliate her, Joyce sees it as a way to prove her theories about the paranormal. And it just so happens that Joyce is now seeing Steve Rimbauer (Matt Keeslar), descendant of John (John Procaccino) and Ellen (Julia Campbell) Rimbauer, the original builders of the mansion. So, it's not much of a problem to get access to the house for a weekend to do some research. And Joyce has lined up some special guests to assist her: Pam Asbury (Emily Deschanel), a psychic who gets impressions from objects she touches; Vic Kandinsky (Kevin Tighe), a psychic who's precognitive; Emery Waterman (Matt Ross), a mamma's boy with undetermined psychic abilities; Nick Hardaway (Julian Sands), whose strong psychic talents aren't really given a name; Cathy Kramer (Judith Ivey), whose gift is automatic writing; and Annie Wheaton (Kimberly J. Brown), an autistic girl with powerful psychic gifts, who is accompanied by her sister, Rachel (Melanie Lynskey), better known as Sis. Asserting that Rose Red is a dead cell, Joyce hopes to "awaken" the house, which, indeed she does, with results that surprise them all.

King's storytelling is as good as ever in this particular piece. He creates a brooding and foreboding atmosphere, and for the most part, gives just enough information to let you figure out what has happened. That being said, some of his characterizations are surprisingly weak, Sis and Annie's parents (Mary Jo Dugaw and Robert Blanche) are almost more caricatures, than characters, especially the abusive father. And a little more information about what actually happens to Pam, Vic, and Nick would have been helpful, although I suspect that may be due to elements that didn't translate well from the narrative. It's a little slow at times, but overall, it's a good, suspenseful story.

The acting was also very good. I'm not a huge fan of Nancy Travis, but I have to give her credit for creating a sympathetic character in the scenes that are told from her point of view, and a much less sympathetic character in scenes that are told from the point of view of others. I always enjoyed David Dukes, and was sad to note that this was his last performance, and that he died while filming the movie. Judith Ivey did an excellent job in a non comic role. Matt Ross and Julian Sands did good jobs with their characters. Emily Deschanel and Kevin Tighe are sadly wasted in unfortunately small roles. The film really belongs to Matt Keeslar, Melanie Lynskey, and most notably Kimberly J. Brown, all of whom turned in wonderful performances.

It's a bit long, especially when shown all at once, which is how SyFy has been doing it, but I still think it is well worth investing the time to see a very scary, and very well done movie.

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