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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.4%
Average: 13.7%
Pretty Bad: 6.85%
Total Crap: 23.29%

1 review, 67 user ratings

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Rose Red
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by Brian McKay

"Stephen King, I officially wipe my ass of you."
1 stars

It's a sad thing when a once great horror writer starts phoning it in for a paycheck. Why come up with something even quasi-original, when you can pillage from Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, and a few of your own classic stories and puke up something like "Rose Red"?

There is nothing original about "Rose Red". I could handle a lack of originality, if there was at least somehting stylistic and intriguing about the approach taken. All this is, however, is a paint by numbers haunted house story that has been bloated all out of proportion to the preposterous running length of four and a half hours. Begging, borrowing, and outright stealing from older, better tales, "Rose Red" is the story of a haunted house, and the team of psychic investigators who go to explore it, led by a scientist trying to find "proof of the unproveable". Sound familiar? It should. We've only seen it a million fucking times in stories like "the Haunting of Hill House" and its shitty remake, not to mention "The Legend of Hell House", "The House on Haunted Hill", and a slew of other ghostbusting movies.

Apparently inspired by the famous Winchester House in San Jose, California, Rose Red is an eternal work in progress. The woman who owned it kept adding on to it with her dead husband's fortune, building all kinds of freaky rooms and halls that go nowhere. Now the place is haunted and seems to change on its own, often making the inhabitants become quickly lost. Okay, a haunted house story based on the Winchester mansion isn't the worst thing I've heard of - until you add a woefully inept cast, equally horrid dialogue, and a connect the dots ghost story with nary an unpredictable turn.

The scientist leading this little expedition is Dr. Joyce Reardon. She's an incredibly annoying and hollow woman, played by an equally annoying Nancy Travis. Thank you, Nancy, for giving me an actress to loathe even more than Julia Roberts. Roberts, for all her annoying traits, can at least ACT. Travis is so ridiculously stilted and over the top, she loses any chance at credibility in the first five minutes. It doesn't help that she's boffing the studly young guy who happens to be the last surviving family member to hold the title to Rose Red. Again, not much good for her credibility, but I guess it makes it easier for her to get her hands on a set of spare keys. Even worse than her, however, is David Dukes as the colleague who is trying to get her discredited. Add to that a cast of characters who are either painfully bland or nails-on-blackboard annoying, and you've got a recipe for for hours of torment. I've seen better acting at a community theater play that was held after hours in the dining room of a sandwhich shop - I kid you not! Congrats also go to Matt Ross, who plays "Emery" - the Haagen-Daas gulping, mouth-breathing, hen-pecked mamma's boy psychic. I have no idea what kind of acting chops Mr. Ross really has, but goddamn if he didn't deliver up the single most annoying fucking character - EVER. Between him and his fat, domineering Kathy Bates wannabe mama, I was praying for both of them to die slowly and painfully. No such luck, he survives.

(And don't whine to me about giving out a spoiler. Do you really want to sit through this piece of shit after all the smack I've been talking about it? You do? well FUCK YOU then, because you and this movie deserve each other.)

About the only characters that evoke any sympathy at all are Annie, a very cute 14 year old autistic girl with psychokinetic abilities, and Sissy, her also-cute older sister and guardian. I think I like them the most only because they talk the least. Meanwhile, you have Judith Ivey as the milquetoast Born Again psychic Christian, and Julian Sands once again proving that he is the blandest fucking Brit on the planet.

As for all of the scenery and effects - The house looks completely fake against the Seattle city background. Everything in the movie looks like a set, nothing feels "real". Unlike Hill House, or Hell House, or The Overlook Hotel, the place has no personality. And what's so scary about a house next to a freeway in the middle of the city, anyway? Steve, have you forgotten "The Shining", man? Location, location, location! Haunted houses are supposed to be out in the fucking boonies, so you can't run anywhere for help. Then, just to make sure we get the point that it's haunted, we have to hear this annoying multitude of voices whispering every 10 seconds. OKAY, STEVE, THE HOUSE IS HAUNTED. WE GET IT. But the worst part are the ghosts themselves. First rule of decent horror films - try not to let the audience actually "see" the ghosts. Second rule - if you have to let them see the ghosts, at least make sure the ghosts are SCARY. These animatronic corpses with buggy eyes and rictus grins are so stiff and fake-looking that they make the puppet on "Tales from the Crypt" look like the kid in A.I. by comparison. My God, it's such a long and painful parade of shameful cliches. Is this what has become of the Master? Is this what the genius behind "The Shining" and "The Stand" has been reduced to?

Thank God for the occasional indie horror films that have no budget and are made with nothing but balls and imagination. After watching "Rose Red", I feel like I've been neutered and given a lobotomy.

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originally posted: 08/17/02 20:58:17
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User Comments

8/17/18 Ryan Bruh, why so aggressive? I actually liked Julian Sands. It’s meant as a B horror series. 3 stars
3/22/17 Louise (the real one) If it's so crap, why so many 5 stars? Funny review by the way. 1 stars
10/21/14 Victor This movie is excellent. I think the reviewer got his lobotomy before he saw the movie. 5 stars
10/06/14 Pamela The review was more entertaining than the movie. 2 stars
12/22/13 Joe One of Stephen King's better mini series! 4 stars
11/02/11 Julia Julian Sands was the best thing about this movie. 4 stars
11/30/09 kate A terrible mess of a miniseries, and props to the reviewer for frankness. 1 stars
10/11/09 Ridaeon Terrible Film. Dull and pointless. 2 stars
4/23/09 Anon Why are you so aggressive? Not getting any? 3 stars
12/29/08 Trivub it's not scary, but is it meant to be? it's the mysterious atmosphere that makes it great. 5 stars
11/17/08 anonymous once you note this is a TV series, the movie doesn't become all that bad 3 stars
9/16/08 Nathan M Holden It was unoriginal, but fun at times. Biggest problem- unmentioned- is, it's confusing. 4 stars
5/30/08 Spager The movie was sub-par, but Brian McKay (the above reviewer) has no class. 2 stars
4/30/08 Anzel I think it was a gr8 movie!!!! Loved it!!! 5 stars
11/20/07 Nick For a tv series this wasn't bad. It was certainly entertaining. Nothing stellar though. 3 stars
10/29/07 hank3395 the movie had a great plot the characters, however LACKED talent 4 stars
10/26/07 Farstrider This reviewer lacks tact, not to mention intelligence. A good movie for a mini series. 4 stars
10/21/07 J The reviewer is an idiot. Try it. It's not bad. 4 stars
10/09/07 Zac this movie sucked! 1 stars
7/01/07 Liz Excellet series. No more need to be said really. 4 stars
5/03/07 Flopguy Exellent if you are ranking it against other TV shows. Unfair to comare to high budget film 4 stars
2/08/07 Alexander If any film deserved to be on MST3K its this one. So bad its funny! 1 stars
1/08/07 Jeremy I LOVE THIS MOVE! I have watched it multiple times 5 stars
11/29/06 iLoveEmanuel Love the movie! it was awesome and defiantly the best horror movie! 5 stars
11/14/06 Peter Ye Great movie 5 stars
10/31/06 Tenement I found it interesting and enthralling. These people who have bashed it need a better vocab 5 stars
10/03/06 mentor397 pretty good but long. Remember it was made for tv 4 stars
9/12/06 Mike Great movie. Reviewer doesn't appreciate storytelling just wants shallow tittilation. 5 stars
1/31/06 eva love the movie 5 stars
9/12/05 John pretty cool, this review is fairly off the mark 4 stars
6/13/05 TheOthersFan Just watch "The Others" - it's a third the length of this monstrosity and about 100x better 1 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK Makes De Bont's 'The Haunting' look like Shakespeare. Stephen King has died and is rotting. 1 stars
4/11/05 Pete Spomer Nice camera work & location, all else was crap. 2 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Intriguing and original, worth the time! 4 stars
11/15/04 B. LEE AWSOME 5 stars
10/15/04 Don Eckert It seems really stupid but when its over, you wouldn't might seeing it again. 4 stars
10/09/04 Sarah Amos a great movie 5 stars
8/02/04 American Slasher Goddess Far from being original, but it's decent. 3 stars
5/25/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
5/04/04 Cara Cotter original? how often does a house grow on its own and eat people...? 5 stars
3/31/04 Ashley I am a horror film freak, and I loved "Rose Red!" 4 stars
3/07/04 ros the steve guy was so cute!!!... its nice enough... 4 stars
1/24/04 Donna Maria this was the best movie i have ever seen it was so goddman scary 5 stars
1/18/04 Ann I love it myself find house intregenging 5 stars
1/13/04 Cindy Ibarra I find it a very interesting experience. It is actually scarier then the ghosts in my home. 4 stars
1/12/04 Agent Excellent, though I didn't expect to like it, I found it one of the best movies I've seen! 5 stars
12/20/03 ageeting fairly good fx, good story line, but S.K. has done better 4 stars
11/23/03 ashley I have watch it 7 times and loved it and im onley11. 5 stars
11/06/03 American Slasher Goddess Not horrible, but nothing great, either. 3 stars
10/17/03 Ami Better than most S.K. films, but still iffy. Crappy special effects. 3 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant BAAAARF! I would rathe run red-hot needles through my sac. FUCK! 1 stars
9/22/03 Darryl I don't see how anyone could REALLY like this crap. Worst "King movie" ever. 1 stars
9/12/03 Crystal Coffey I really love it , it was the coolest movie I have ever seen in my whole life. 5 stars
9/06/03 Charles Tatum On par with "Storm of the Century," in other words- eh. 3 stars
8/04/03 Steven I liked it. I thought it was a great movie. 4 stars
6/29/03 SheWrites Must . . . find . . . antidote . . . painful to watch 1 stars
6/06/03 Haley One of the most well-acted haunted house movies ever. Makes 4 hours seem like 4 minutes. 5 stars
5/30/03 Dan I liked it. It was just another 4 hours of nothing in my life. 3 stars
5/18/03 DAVY! It brings back a lot of memories for me, like the time my nuts got caught on a fence 4 stars
5/17/03 GameKng8 I FUCKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/27/03 Mr. Do it fucks, like all the rest of Mr. King's movies. 1 stars
11/19/02 sandy not s.k. at his best for sure 4 stars
10/14/02 Jessica this movie kicks ASS!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/15/02 Zefram Mann Blah. 3 stars
8/27/02 Jim You can't stop watching it, kind of like a train wreck. 2 stars
8/24/02 Everytime commercials come on for this I turn them off - SUCKY!!! 1 stars
8/21/02 Rastabub Good mini-series thats best seen in intervals. Decent cast and directing. 4 stars
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  27-Jan-2002 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Craig R. Baxley

Written by
  Stephen King

  Nancy Travis
  Matt Keeslar
  Kimberly J. Brown
  David Dukes
  Judith Ivey
  Kevin Tighe

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