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Rose Red

A movie directed by Craig R. Baxley

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Rose Red

  • Dec 4, 2004
Pros: .

Cons: .

The Bottom Line: diappointing

Hmmmm ….. I am disappointed in King. Not that his style or abilities were any less than ever before, but this knock off of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting seems to be below his moral caliber. Of course it has all been updated and spiffed up, and is actually much better than the 1999 release of The Haunting which was just flat out ridiculous. To see the best of these three psychological movies, choose the 1963 release by Robert Wise. Now there is terror!

Rose Red was released as a miniseries for TV, written by Stephen King and directed by Craig R. Baxley. On video it is a two video release, and shares the time lags that would appear with TV production – fades to the next scene etc., as when it would go to commercial on TV. You get the drift. As well, the second set of the video doesn’t exactly pick up where the first left off, like you are missing a few scenes. Confusing at best.

The story is about a house, known as Rose Red, in Seattle, that sits at the top of the town, ominously looking down at its inhabitants. She has been vacant for a long time and carries the usual villainous stories about deaths, missing persons, suicide, and destruction. The other quaint feature of the house is that it never stops ‘building’ itself. Yes, long after the workers left, Rose Red continued to restructure itself so that floor plans don’t necessarily match the finished product and a room or hallway will suddenly appear out of nowhere – while you are walking down it or into it. That’s unique, I would say.

As a parapsychologist, Dr. Joyce Reardon has taken it upon herself to gather a group of psychic type people together to spend Memorial Day weekend in the house, trying to get the ‘dead cell’ to come back alive. She has no support from the college where she teaches, in fact loses her tenure because of this ridiculous experiment. This is mainly because the head of the department, Professor Miller, has no respect for her or her quirky ways.

Dealing with haunted places, and the dead, really isn’t something that ever works out for anyone. Trying to change the course of nature or revive things generally will cause anyone havoc. Bringing in people with the special ‘touch’ will make things even worse. Everything just goes bad in this house, and most of the people that enter on this weekend do not exit – at least in the normal way.

Travis, as Dr. Reardon, was outstanding. Just a bit mad, just a touch insane. Frankly, I would have never entered the house with her in the first dang place, she was that edgy. David Dukes, as Prof. Miller, was probably as equally insane, but in the reverse.

I wasn’t impressed with the movie. Not that it was bad, overall it was a good movie and kept you interested. Unfortunately, even without seeing The Haunting or The Haunting of Hill House, or anything else like these, you know the outcome from the beginning, so the suspense factor wanes a little. But it was well put together, the characters all worked well in their parts. I especially liked Matt Ross as Emery and Laura Kenny as his mother.

I would imagine it played better on video than on TV. I’ve never been impressed with miniseries productions, I generally forget to watch one segment of it and breaking a story up over one or more days just takes away from it, don’t you think?

As far as recommendations, yeah, I guess I’ll suggest people should see it. There really isn’t anything wrong with the movie, I was just disappointed. But I’m picky.

Stars: Nancy Travis, Judith Ivey, Julian Sands



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More Rose Red reviews
review by . November 12, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
            ROSE RED      When this miniseries debuted back in 2002 I believe I could not have been happier. Two of my favorite things were coming together, nay, three of my favorite things. Those things were Stephen King [as writer], haunted house [as the story and setting] and Julian Sands [as an actor] who I loved from the first two "Warlock" movies". So naturally when it was airing I watched it every night and then …
Quick Tip by . November 20, 2013
It isn't the scariest thing out there but the characters and their interactions make this an entertaining watch. I do recommend this set to any King fan out there or any horror fan looking for something to pass the time on a weekend. I had fun with it all those years ago and still enjoy it now.
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About this movie


In this Stephen King story, which aired as television miniseries in three two-hour parts, Dr. Joyce Reardon (Nancy Travis) is a professor at the University of Washingtonn in Seattle who is determined to prove that supernatural occurrences are real. Using six specialists, each of whom possess a different form of psychic ability, the scientist leads her group into Rose Red, a haunted mansion that has grown in size since it was built in 1907. From there, the film because a wonderfully delirious ghost story, using the bizarre settings contained within the gigantic house to procure constant new surprises.
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Cast: Julian Sands
Director: Craig R. Baxley
Release Date: 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Trimark Home Video (May 14, 2002)
Runtime: 4hr 14min
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