Rose Red (TV Mini-Series 2002) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
305 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Review of the Supernatural
sef_dcs1927 September 2004
Warning: 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.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is not for all you short attention spanners...
hadar-206 October 2003
For the rest of you, though, this mammoth 250 minutes horror miniseries, is well worth the time. Stephen King has probably created one of his best screenplay-to-screen only works (not based on a novel) in "Rose Red", a chore usually not too successful ("Sleepwalkers", anyone?). This haunted house tale, about a creepy enormous mansion in Seatle, and the intrepid psychics that go there for a "field trip", boasts amazing production design and sets, fine acting, especially by Nancy Travis as the determined Joyce Reardon and Matt Ross as Emery ("Go and warn someone who isn't broke!), and decent special effects (especially considering this is made for TV). Although not everything is always clear, and although the middle part tends to sag a little, this is a high quality mini-series which amazingly manages to sustain interest through four hours of haunted house shenanigans, one of the most overused themes in horror. It's length also allows it to dedicate the first hour to character development and story buildup, so that when the characters walk for the first time into "Rose Red", we are almost as anxious as they are. this wouldn't have worked in a two hour film.
41 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Novel on Film
ladylynch25 April 2003
Someone said this was "too long" and made the comment that longer books don't translate well to screen. However, if they knew anything about Rose Red, they would know that it was never a book. It was written directly for the screen by Stephen King. As I watched the film, I kept thinking how much it was like a novel come to life! Then I was watching the featurette "The Making of Rose Red" on the DVD and Stephen King as well as the director said that it was really just a novel that was played out on screen. It is so true! I am an avid fan of King's work, and this film was a real treat, because it was just like reading one of his books. It it not SUPPOSED to be your typical 90 minute work (as King says, he feels like that is similar to stealing all the towels in the hotel room and then quickly packing them into your bag and sitting on it to try to force them to stay in). It is much more character driven and rich, and takes much more attention than a regular film does. That is WHY it was a 3 part series!

If you are willing to put forth the effort--and I mean this as a COMPLIMENT to the film, for it really is like reading a novel--then you will love it. 10/10 from me!
64 out of 93 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
My favorite version of The Haunting
Brandt Sponseller2 July 2005
Rose Red is basically an uncredited remake of The Haunting, based on Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. The novel was first made into a film by Robert Wise in 1963. Jan de Bont did a much-loathed remake, which I prefer to the Wise film, in 1999. Novelist Stephen King, who wrote the script for Rose Red, has long said that Jackson's book is one of his favorites, and he's a fan of the Wise film. The Jackson book has greatly influenced his work. I don't recall ever hearing King's opinion of the de Bont remake, but I could imagine that he might not have cared for it very much.

Thus, it was only natural that when Steven Spielberg contacted King about doing a haunted house film shortly after the release of the de Bont remake, King thought it would be a great opportunity to give the world an updated filmic version of The Haunting of Hill House, but done "right". Probably because of the negative public reaction to the de Bont film, and the temporal proximity (and possibly because of rights/licensing issues), it was decided to do something "original" instead of marketing another remake. But make no mistake, there are far too many similarities in the story, the structure and the visuals for this to not be a Haunting remake. Enough was changed that no one could be sued for copyright infringement, of course, and in making the changes and lengthening the film to a mini-series, King and director Craig R. Baxley have topped both previous versions of The Haunting. Rose Red is very nearly a 10. Only a couple slight missteps bring the score down to a 9.

Rather than Hill House, the name of the home is Rose Red. And rather than being in the countryside in New England, King has moved it to a hilltop in Seattle, Washington. This was a great idea, in that it gives the home an eerier feeling because of its incongruity with its surroundings, and it emphasizes the fact that the home is in its own world, with an ability to keep visitors captive, regardless of how close civilization may seem.

Dr. John Montague/Dr. John Markway/Dr. David Morrow has been changed to Dr. Joyce Reardon (Nancy Travis). The gender is different, but the aim is the same--to research the big, supposedly haunted house on the hill using the aid of some psychically inclined folks. Eleanor Vance/Eleanor Lance has been changed to Annie Wheaton (Kimberly J. Brown), now a teen, but just as "key" to bringing the house alive. Luke Sanderson has been changed to Steve Rimbauer (Matt Keeslar). He's similarly the heir looking to make some quick cash. King also gives his "hill house" a similar history, with a more typical turn-of-the-century source of fortune for John Rimbauer, who takes the place of Hugh Crain, and King lets Rimbauer's bride, Ellen, live much longer than Crain's. This all serves the story remarkably well--it gives a lot more depth to the home, and gives a good 50 years or so before the home was finally abandoned, after countless tragedies. Increasing Rose Red's active history also enabled strengthening the parallels to Sarah Winchester's "Mystery House", which had been alluded to in previous instantiations of The Haunting.

Similarly, increasing the running time of the film enabled King to go into great depth with characterization, exposition and backstory. Early material establishing Joyce as something of a quack at her university works extremely well and sets up a great subplot with a warring department head, Professor Carl Miller (David Dukes), and a student flunky, Kevin Bollinger (Jimmi Simpson). Annie works 100% better as a character than Eleanor, and King gives us a psychological intensity in her familial situation that easily trumps Eleanor. The increased running time also enables a large cast of characters for Rose Red to play with--that was always one of the problems with the other films. There just weren't enough people around to work with or make the experimental situation believable. The larger cast enables a typical King Ten Little Indians-styled gradual character knock-off, which for me helps the story work better as horror. It's notable that the deaths and the appearance of otherworldly antagonists in Rose Red are more graphic and brutal than the other versions of The Haunting, despite the fact that Rose Red was made to initially air on ABC television in the U.S. King and Baxley do a great job of pacing the build-up to violent chaos over the film's 4-hour running time.

Although de Bont's film is well known and deservedly respected at least for its eye-popping, opulent sets, Baxley also trumps that aspect conceptually. Rose Red isn't nearly as grandiose, baroque or decorative as de Bont's Hill House, but it's even more bizarre and surreal, and Baxley better keeps it in the realm of spookiness.

Also far better than any other version of The Haunting, King and Baxley expertly develop complex subtexts and motivations for characters. These are too numerous to mention here, but the most interesting and important one may be Joyce's gradual transformation from lovable kook to manipulative, obsessive maniac. There are increasing suggestions in later scenes that Joyce may be possessed by some spirit, but smartly, Baxley and King keep this ambiguous--it's just as believable that her own monstrous side is finally emerging.

Unfortunately for all of its brilliance there are a couple minor flaws with Rose Red. There is a muddled section during the crew's first night in the home, when some members go wandering around and unintentionally shed their mortal coils. There are also a couple later sections with characters wandering around the house in a panic that are just a bit too stretched out--it can begin to feel more like padding to meet running time requirements than plot necessity. However, these flaws are minor, especially given the breadth of the film. Rose Red is a must-see for any haunted house film fan.
57 out of 89 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
King finally gets his due on the screen
amanda_tlg25 May 2005
There are so many of King's books that didn't go over well as movies. And this one, which was never even a book, did really well. If you have a Friday night and a lot of popcorn to kill, this is a decent one to settle down with. A lot of the actors are unknown, but pull this off well. I like how it's not just a group of people going to spend the night in a haunted house and win money and fame shtick. (i.e. the new House on Haunted Hill) I also liked how all the people who went had a unique specialty in the paranormal/supernatural. Also, it has the regular blend of characters you love to hate, ones who are suspicious, and the adorable ones that you hope don't make the mistake of investigating unknown noises in the middle of the night alone.
35 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Loved it either way
stormynighttigerlily2 February 2005
Though most people did not appreciate this movie due to lack of insight, I still found it interesting and mentally exercising. I do agree that some of the down time should have been used to go into depth on the characters but it also makes me use my mind to fill in the blanks which could make the movie even more fun and eccentric. Stephen King knows how to tap into peoples minds. This movie didn't scare me or make me jump at the time I was watching it. It was a few days later when I actually started to think about it and analyze it that it struck a cord. It makes you think about the possibilities and consequences. Well all in all I liked this mini series and though I do think they could have done better, it was still mentally captivating.
27 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Stephen King Writes "Autopilot"
nycritic25 January 2005
Warning: 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.
41 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
callanvass10 March 2004
Warning: 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
10 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another Great Stephen King Miniseries
QuisitsTrepe3 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
22 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rose Red: The House That Keeps on Giving
woterfalz199117 July 2008
Warning: 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.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
mildly enjoyable but very unoriginal
fibreoptic30 January 2004
Is it just me or is Rose Red a rehash of The Shining? Everything about this screams unoriginality and if you watch it carefully you will notice lots of things in common with The Shining! Big creepy place haunted by evil ghosts who want a psychic kid who can see them so they can grow stronger. It was an interesting watch but there's only one wasn't scary! That's probably why the DVD got a 12 rating in the UK! Some of the acting was cheesy or over the top but Julian Sands acting was superb. This is just Stephen King trying to make a quick buck and just did a quick remix of one of his classic title's. If this was written by anyone else but Stephen King it would be acceptable but i don't expect this off a man of his calibre! And the obvious cameo by Mr King is just so grrrr unsubtle that it's just throwing the fact that it's Stephen King in our faces (when the guy who wrote it has his name much bigger than the title on the front of the DVD you got to start wondering) and to make you think it's got to be good if he appears in a 30 second cameo. Some of the effects annoy me like the bee's and the exploding sink which are obviously not realistic enough (the statue effect is quite cool though). If you haven't seen either of The Shining's then watch this first because you might get more entertainment from Rose Red.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Junk of the highest order
hawksburn17 November 2002
Stephen King screen adaptations have a well known history of being hit-or-miss (mostly miss). However I was prepared to give this a try, especially since I've regarded his made-for-tv stuff quite highly since "The Stand" (which I regard as one of the best mini-series ever).

However this sad affair I'm sorry to say, is junk. Lord knows I persevered. I persevered thru the uneventful exposition (taking a whole episode to do what a motion-picture would do in 20 minutes, thereby betraying it's tv origins - I watched this on dvd, it not having been screened by any of the networks in Australia). I persevered thru the lame attempts at frightening the audience (unless they're aiming this at 10 year olds on a sleepover, give up) via incredibly bad cgi & puppetry. I persevered thru the illogicalities that infected the script.

The biggest problem was that none of these characters had my sympathy. I didn't care about any of them. The only real half interesting character was Julian Sands but then they kill him off. By the final part I was sincerely wishing that the "ghosts" would finish the lot of them off (ESPECIALLY the little girl!!!). I understand the conventions of the ghost-horror genre. Put a bunch of stupid people in a spooky setting (i.e house, closed summer camp etc etc...) then watch them consistently make bad decisions until only 1 or 2 of them are left. But these people are beyond stupid.

"I'm just going into the haunted kitchen by myself to get some milk from the refridgerator that I noticed where we saw the headless woman this afternoon even though we have no power, it's the middle of the night, and the house is dark"

"Well remember that the house is prone to change shape and you may never find your way back and god knows 5 people are already dead or missing, so take a torch."


These people are dumb to the 'nth' extreme. Hard to give a crap about them really.

Nancy Travis' attempts at acting insane would make Jack Nicholson spin in his grave.

While this certainly isn't the worst ghost movie I've ever seen ('The Haunted' would probably win that award), the fact is it takes too long to get anywhere, and then when it finally does, the emotional payoff to reward ones perseverence fails miserably. It's neither scary, spooky, darkly funny or entertaining. It's boring.
18 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A recipe for "Red Rose"
Prophetess2 February 2002
Start with "Burnt Offerings," throw in a healthy portion of "The Haunting," lift scenes directly from "Firestarter" and "The Shining" (whole, no changes) give it the ending from "Carrie" and you have "Rose Red" -- without a storyline, of course, and characters who have no motivation (Why was Joyce Reardon so obsessed with the house? Why was she having an affair with the latest owner?). The special effects might have redeemed this waste of film and time were they not so reminiscent of the Crypt Keeper and his ghoulish puppet friends. I want my six hours back.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Please Mr. King, Stop making your own movies!!!
Ted Gianopulos5 October 2005
It's bad enough making yourself finish a normal length movie that starts out bad, but when it is a 4 & 1/2 hr. miniseries, You just want to punch yourself stupid thinking of the EXTENDED amount of time you've wasted that you'll never get back.

I'll just say that I watched this movie by myself, in my house, with no lights on and after it was over, I turned off the TV, turned over and slept like a baby. That's how terrified I was of this pathetic attempt. The movie was beautiful, it just wasn't scary AT ALL. The whole idea of voices being heard is scary for like the first 10 seconds of hearing it, then it just becomes annoying when it is happening throughout the entire film. The sets were awesome but once again, not used to scare the crap out of people. The puppets of dead people were OK, but not scary. There were so many points where I was predicting the old bait and switch trick, where they open the fridge and close it and there's a dead person screaming at you (which scares the crap out of me every time) and they never took advantage of it. I was to the point of being pi$$ed off because I wasn't getting scared.

The only redeeming factor in this movie was the performance of Matt Ross. He seems to be the only one on set who really knew his character, Emery, and played it to the hilt with no indecision. Very unique and effective choices.

This is to Stephen King. If you are going to put your time into writing a movie that is supposed to be scary, why not take it the whole nine yards and actually get a director who knows how to put together a scary movie? Sam Raimi, Gore Verbinski, David Fincher even Wes Craven. You can always take a trip to Japan and get one of the bright new directors who are making ground-breaking horror flicks that we Americans are always taking advantage of by re-making all their previous works.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
nocturnalgloria13 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I have been a fan of the Stephen King world of now trademark horror and like so many of his older fans I have keep being disappointed at his most recent attempts to tap the dark vein.

First of all, Rose Red is not scary. That's quite obvious and almost blatantly intrinsic to this movie's plot. After all, the idea is to drag the action for as long as possible (yes, that means around 4 hours) and to make sure that the same computer animated scenes are played over and over again.

When will horror film makers figure out that glowing milky white ghosts are something straight out of a cartoon. The house itself which is supposed to the apex of everything as it embodies the true spirit of "evil" that is supposed to feed off people (original, isn't it?) fails to make an impression as it looks just like what it is: scenery. While aiming to create a truly exccentric building, the product of a diseased mind (a theme that was getting old around the time Poe turned around with the "House of Usher") the movie delivers a vaguely Victorian massive cardboard cliché-ed stereotype of a "haunted house". I suppose the idea is to reach that crystallized status of the site of evil, bred within the confines of lunacy and isolation. It does not pull it off.

Now,'s average. It becomes downward atrocious when it is set side by side with those terribly inane "ghosts" that made me laugh. I cringe whenever I do as much as try to remember the sheer stupidity.

Then, King delivers a bunch of re visitations of his former works that do little more than cast a stain upon the times when he knew what he was doing. If you have read Carrie, you will recognize where the final scene with the falling stones came from, and if you read The Shining you will easily see that the character of Annie is an over simplified version of Danny meets Seth from The Regulators.

The annoying nursery line comes from the Storm of the Century, and I am sure I could find more things, were I to bother.

I won't, though.

Most horror fans hate and I have to agree with them.

1 out of 10, only because there is no zero.
10 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very gripping, good twist on an old story concept
swaron24 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.
10 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Absolute Crap
Mobius Ridaeon10 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I do not understand how Rose Red can have received any positive reviews at all, and yet there seem to be many. ROSE RED IS A TERRIBLE FILM. IT WILL WASTE SEVERAL HOURS OF YOUR LIFE.

If you are a person who liked it, you need to have your head examined. I suggest you go to a neurologist without delay.

This film is a travesty. A long and dull tale of the most terrible team of psychic investigators ever spending the weekend in a haunted house. Wow, how original. I wonder what will happen... will there be ghosts? Will they scare and even kill people? Maybe if there was a bit less plot exposition and continual pointless detractors ( such as academic rivalry, overbearing mothers, romance between people with no chemistry, etc. ) we might have a chance to get involved in the drama or tension of knowing whats about to happen. However, the characters, which are totally shallow and act in a completely retarded fashion throughout the film, are even worse than the lame plot. THe acting takes the cake as the most excremental aspect of this 4 hour waste of time. Nancy Travis makes every scene she is in unwatchable by constantly grinning and showing off her ugly teeth, not to mention acting like a bitch for 4 entire hours of torture. The other actors are pretty awful as well, giving empty performances, though who can blame them when the script is so unintelligent it seems like King wrote it while he was either drunk or operating heavy machinery. Wow. So bad I can hardly believe it and I could not bring myself to continue watching it, but had to stop half way through after getting a pain in my neck from too much cringing.

I can stand a lot of crap when I watch a film and I hate not seeing the end, but this was unbearable. Rose Red has no redeeming value, even as material for mockery.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The worst Stephen King mini-series to date
Cliff van Ooststroom4 August 2002
Since I read some reviews on the net concerning this series, saying this was a very scary miniseries, I had high hopes for this one. But what a disappointment. Not for a moment was the story or the dialog gripping or scary. Not even the ghosts where scary. And then the casting: Nancy Travis is terrible as a non-convincing 'professor', she even isn't convincing when she gets 'evil'-ish. Every minute she's ruining the series. The rest (except maybe Julian Sands & Matt Ross) couldn't set a decent character on screen. And then the plot: I'm a fan of Stephen King, but when he steals a storyline, I'm beginning to think that the accident also took away most of his creativity, because it borrows heavily on The House of Leaves from Mark Z. Danielewski, and since he doesn't want to put the book on the silverscreen, Stephen thought, if he doesn't want to, I can do it. But please, not this bad!
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Save the warnings for someone who's not broke
petra_ste24 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This mini-series follows professor Reardon (Nancy Travis), as she visits an ancient mansion (the titular Rose Red, which is infamous for being haunted) with a group of psychics, hoping to trigger paranormal phenomena and study them. Since this was written by Stephen King, it goes without saying the group is soon trapped inside and people start dying.

Character development is decent - at least one can tell those people apart and understand their flaws and motivations. I also appreciated how the final survivors are difficult to predict. Giving the house some backstory, and therefore more depth than the usual "It's haunted!" stuff, was also an interesting idea, although it's not entirely successful. Acting is serviceable; Travis seems terrible at first but then her performance starts to make sense (her professor turns out to be an unusual protagonist, both unsavory and quite bonkers).

Sadly, the location is not creepy enough. Sure, the house is surrounded by a park, but it's still inside a city. Seeing the street traffic from the windows of Rose Red is very distracting and spoils the atmosphere: imagine a version of The Shining with people skiing right outside the Overlook Hotel. Now, it's possible to make an effective horror in an urban setting (The Ring), but not with the Gothic premise of a haunted house, which thrives on isolation.

Also, too often characters behave like morons, shattering suspension of disbelief into tiny pieces - like the middle-aged, mild-mannered woman visiting the kitchen alone to fetch some tea after GHOSTS HAVE STARTED KILLING PEOPLE. From someone like the King of horror, these shortcuts feel rather lazy.

3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good TV quality
sam_aj_0125 March 2007
Rose Red is a great TV series based on the fictional events that took place inside the house, where a group of psychics plan to awake the spirits.

For practically three hours its entertaining which most TV series and films fail to do, but its missing a plot which is the only problem. There's a really built up story and background to the house but what actually happens in the film go's nowhere... Personally there's too much about the house and too little about the characters, it basically fits into one sub-genre. Horror.

Definitely not movie material, but a good watch for those who enjoy other Stephen King films.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Absolute Rubbish
dungeonkeeper22 July 2003
OK, the 1st part is not too bad, but as soon as they get to the house, it descends rapidly into utter trash. I suffered the rest of it in the vain hope it might get better, but by the end I really couldn't care less.

don't waste your time.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
SMLA1120 May 2002
There is not enough words to explain how great this movie is. I have been waiting for this movie since October of 2001 and I have waited for it to come out on DVD. This movie is Stephen King's best if not the best movie I have ever seen. The acting was excellent and the characters are way too cool. I especially liked the performance of Matt Ross, who played the troubled Emery Waterman.

Overall this movie has great special effects and great acting. Rating 10 out of 10.
10 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hustler Parody or a Mad TV Skit?
MubukuGrappa21 March 2010
First thing first: This "movie" is awful.

Statutory Warning: Watching this may cause nausea, suffocation, self-loathing, regret, worthlessness, self-hatred, and other such symptoms.

I watched many Mad TV skits making fun of stereotypical movies and TV shows, as well as many Hustler XXX video parodies of TV series. This excuse of a movie ()or TV series or whatever could have possibly been watchable as either of those, but as a full-length feature, this is absolutely horrible stuff!

Horribly bad acting, never-ending story, pathetic dialogs, an exercise in triviality. Even before the trip begins, I could predict who all people will die, and who would possibly survive. My prediction was wrong only in the case of the heir; all others that I predicted would die, did die. My guess regarding the survivors also was correct.

Does that mean that I'm a genius? Hell, no. I am just a lonely loser, who watched huge number of such trash, and so there is nothing even remotely new or unique about such work.

This was torture porn for me. I mean, I was invited for a dinner at a colleague's place, and since I ran out on excuses (I had declined 2-3 earlier such invitations), I had to go. Her and mine tastes in films are mutually exclusive, and so when I arrived there and this movie was playing, I was rather sure that I was there for 90 minutes of pain and agony.

I was wrong! I was to be tortured for 4 hours or so by a meaningless, painfully bad excuse of a movie. This movie is so bad that it does not even qualify for "so bad that it is good" category. It's like how Tyler Perry would make Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I mean, why else would Nancy Travis be trying so hard to look and act serious in her role, while she possibly knew that she was the absolute wrong choice for it? Imagine, for example, Marlon Wayans, trying to act a Marlon Brando. That is what I am talking about.

To make matters worse, I was surrounded by 3 enthusiastic people determined to watch it till the finis (even when I reminded that it would drag until 1-30 AM), and my colleague, the host, kept on mentioning how this was originally made as a TV documentary. Yes, she used the word "documentary", really. If this is documentary, then I am Rockefeller.

I've nothing good to say about this movie or whatever, except for the fact that the food was good; she really cooked well. I lost 4 hours of my lie, and a Saturday evening watching this. I could have much more enjoyed sitting in my apartment all alone drinking cheap wine and watching COPS and Cheaters and all that trash!
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fith rate rip-off by a third rate writer
Rob Astyk25 October 2005
In Rose Red, Stephen King rips off the very real Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, Shirley Jackson's vastly superior, The Haunting of Hill House, {which had a great film version in 1963 directed by Robert Wise}, Burnt Offerings {a truly scary film 1976 by Dan Curtis}, his own novel The Shining {that had a fine film version in 1980 by Stanley Kubrick}, and rafts of "old, dark house" films including The Legend of Hell House {1973; John Hough, director} and going back to the silent version of The Cat and the Canary {1927; Paul Leni, director}. There is not a frightening or original moment in this entire screen play. Worse, it hasn't a single idea that hasn't been stolen from elsewhere and degraded by King's limited imagination.

I know that it will get the King Fan base after me with bared fangs, but there's a reason why the only four King stories on film that are worth watching {Carrie(1976), The Shining(1980), Stand By Me(1986), Misery(1990), The Shawshank Redemption(1994) and The Green Mile(1999)} are more the work of their directors (Brian de Palma, Stanley Kubrick, Rob Reiner and Frank Darabont) than of King himself. That reason is that, while King can supply the situations, he's a Bulwer-Lytton level writer at best. Clive Barker is more original in his horrors and a better plotter to boot, though not by much.

One is left wondering what good actors like Kevin Tighe, Judith Ivey, Julian Sands and even Matt Ross (whose clichéd character, Emery Waterman, tries hard to escape those clichés) are doing in this dreadful, over-long drek, until one understands that they probably needed some ready cash too.

It would be too long at 90 minutes, but at 240 minutes, this is a trap to avoid by never watching it in the first place. It's not even bad enough to be funny. Try one of the much better films that is rips off as listed above.

Rob Astyk
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews