The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (TV Movie 2003) - Plot Summary Poster

(2003 TV Movie)


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  • Set at the turn of the century, this is the tale of Ellen Rimbauer who just received this mysterious mansion as a wedding gift from her new husband. Her husband is a Seattle oil tycoon who has a dark past which Ellen eventually finds out about. She becomes fearful of her husband when she learns of some disappearances of people that were close to him. Also there are some unexplained happenings at the Rose Red Mansion that might have a connection to these people who have disappeared. Now Ellen is worried she might be next.

  • The wife of an oil tycoon becomes engrossed in the sinister evil residing within her Seattle mansion home.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Based as a prequel to the Stephen King mini-serie's 'Rose Red', 'The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer' is based Rose Red, a haunted house with a disturbing past. The Seattle mansion was constructed at the turn of the 20th century by oil magnate, John Rimbauer, who built the house for his bride, Ellen, while on honeymoon in Africa. From the early stages of construction, the house is rocked by tragedy and scandal. Murders, suicides and mysterious disappearances suggest Rose Red has a mind of its own, choosing who shall vanish within its walls. The movie hears Ellen Rimbauer in voice over read her diary and are given a glimpse of the Seattle elite in the early 1900's. We see Ellen Rimbauer develop from a young bride to a tormented matriarch. The diary entries gradually become darker and more daunting. Guests to Rose Red vanish and Ellen is afraid of her own home. Societal pressures keep her married to John Rimbauer. Aside from the house's frightening faults, Mrs. Rimbauer candidly discusses the cruel and sexually-twisted intentions of her once-admired husband. The diary includes recollections of explicit erotic acts, serial murder and sexual ambiguity. 'The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer increases in disturbance until its abrupt end.

    'Rose Red' documents the fictional work of the fictional Dr. Joyce Reardon in her attempt to unlock the secrets of the house before it's demolished. The troubled history of Rose Red and its inhabitants are the subjects of Dr. Reardon's life-long work. Her mentor vanished from the house thirty years prior and its been her obsession ever since. In 1998, Dr. Reardon purchased Ellen Rimbauer's personal journal. The writings were "authenticated" and compiled for a publication titled The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red. (There was a book published as a tie-in promotion for the 'Rose Red' mini-series and authorship under the pseudonym Joyce Reardon. Controversy over authorship went on over years whether Stephen or Tabitha King could have possible tomed the book until it was determined that Ridley Pearson was actually the author.) The movie was based on this book and the voice-overs are tken directly from the diary entries although some liberty is taken with both characters, timelines, and plot.

    After watching The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, you'll want to see the mini-series you will want to see Stephen King's Rose Red mini-series.

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