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Customer Review Rating 3 Not Everything Comes Up Roses

Who doesn’t love a good haunted house movie?. I’m always game for that as long as it is done right. This three part TV mini-series gets it half right. It doesn’t hit on all the right spots that you’d want. This is an original story by Stephen King written specifically for the little screen. I believe this happened only one other time with “Storm Of The Century”. With King writing, you would of expected something a bit better. Here we go. Nancy Travis stars as Dr. Joyce Reardon, a professor who was once respected but is now sort of regarded as a joke since she has gone into the paranormal. Sort of like Agent Scully on “The X Files” in a way. She plans on going on an expedition to the Rimbauer house in Seattle. A big, scary, Victorian like mansion that is supposedly haunted. She brings along a team of people, each with their own power, to the house. But, the one thing she needs is a telekinetic little girl named Annie(played by Kimberly J. Brown)who she believes is the one with the power to awaken the ghosts within. As the movie goes along, it’s clear that Joyce has other intentions. I have to say the movie looks good and is filmed sharply. The flashback scenes showing the origin of the house and it’s owners was nicely done. Most of the characters are very good and well thought out. The performances from the cast are very good, but with a few exceptions. Kimberly Brown as Annie just does the quiet, odd little girl routine. It is a strictly ‘by the numbers’ performance. Nancy Travis seems to be very wrongly cast in role of Joyce Reardon. She just doesn’t ring true. Matt Ross is the best of the bunch really making his character the best. And then there is David Dukes. He plays his professor character with the most arrogant, pompous scene stealing bravado he could muster. He does it very well. One of the better cast members. Sadly, he passed away halfway thru filming from a heart attack. A stand in came in and doubled for him for the remainder of his scenes. You can really tell it’s the stand in too. The thing that really ruins this movie is the fact that it’s a 3 part mini-series. There is so much padding in the movie that is dampers the whole thing. We are talking four hours or so without commercials. The good stuff that is really good and effective is long forgotten in between scenes that it doesn’t hold any lasting effect. The movie would of benefited better if it were a shorter, normal movie. The effects are adequate, but the flying ghost at the end was laughably bad. The make-up is okay, but nothing over the top incredible. It is a very entertaining movie, don’t get me wrong, but it is stretched so thin that it nearly vanishes before your very eyes. We expected something stronger and more long lasting from King. “Rose Red” isn’t his best venture into T.V., that honor goes to his re-working of “The Shining” a few years ago, but it is a decent effort. It had the potential and talent behind it to of been so much better. The cast includes some familiar faces like Kevin Tighe(“K-9”, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”), Julian Sands(“Warlock”, “Arachnophobia”), Matt Kesslar(“Scream 3”), and Judith Ivey(“Designing Women”). And, of course, the humorous cameo from King himself. The movie wasn’t rosey or red enough. Maybe next time.


Customer Review Rating 5 GREAT!!!

I LOVED this mini-series! When I invited some friends over one night, they went through my dvd stash and saw Rose Red. At first they said that it would probably be [bad] but watched it anyway. These people NEVER pay attention to a movie even for 1 hour, but they did for this one. They were actually even SCARED at some points and they NEVER get SCARED! (notice the sarcasm). Stephen King did a great job with this and i highly recommend! They also even did a great job with keeping the suspense by making it an EXPERIENCE rather than just a movie. About a month before this mini-series premiered, ABC showed a special about this supposedly haunted house and a woman who was going to explore it. This program was actually promotional and used to get people really feeling like this house actually exists (which it doesn’t). They also made a “diary” of Ellen Rimbauer, the woman of the “house” at the time. Great movie…go out and buy it. It made me fear to go to sleep because of the “let’s get it on” woman (you’ll know if you watch) 🙂

Customer Review Rating 4 Rose Red in familiar King Vein

Stephen King’s formula for success has through the years been fairly simple and predictable: take one outcast and persecuted protagonist with psychic abilities, mix well with a group of strange and likewise weird supporting characters and throw in a creepy location in which to place them and you’ve got yourself a 700-page horror novel [and] mini-series. “Rose Red” is the latest incarnation of a King work to adhere to this time honored paradigm. For those acquainted with the film “The Haunting”, you may find “Rose” a bit too similar in design. The story revolves around Joyce (Nancy Travers), a troubled psychology professor and ardent parapsychologist who is putting together field trip to “Rose Red”, an immense and foreboding haunted house right in the middle of downtown Seattle. The group of investigators consists of 6 psychics of varying abilities and temperaments. The focal point of the group is Annie, an autistic clairvoyant with highly developed psychokinetic (mind over matter) powers. Soon after the group arrives, all hell breaks loose (pardon the pun) and our protagonists are literally running for their lives. Can the evil of “Rose Red” be stopped before sunrise? Although the plot shares a great many points with other “group investigates haunted house” movies, “Rose” has the unmistakable Stephen King stamp which not only ensures an air of terror but brings the characters (cliched as they may be) frighteningly to life. The sets are amazing in their attention to detail and lend an air of perpetual dread to the film. On the down side, the movie is very long (4 hours 16 minutes) and could have easily been trimmed to half that length without loosing any per tenant revelations. The acting is mini-series solid yet the characters never seemed to mesh and too much effort was spent on trying to see how each would react to the others in one-on-one scenarios as they wandered through the house. The eventual revelation about the nature of the hauntings at “Rose Red” is original indeed and does much to bring the whole of the story to it’s final conclusion. Overall, the movie is a sure-fire scare-fest of the highest order. Just make sure you have an ample supply of microwave popcorn on hand.

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