Monday, August 01, 2005

Review - Stephen King's Rose Red

Stephen King's Rose Red
Starring Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly J. Brown and Julian Sands
Written by Stephen King
Directed by Craig R. Baxley
Executive produced by Mark Carliner and Stephen King

Stephen King's Red Rose is a tale of a haunted mansion that seems to have a life of its own. The horror master wrote the three-part miniseries specifically for the small screen, and as the story begins psychology professor Dr. Joyce Reardon (Travis) is determined to prove that paranormal phenomena exist.
She has become obsessed with a Seattle mansion called Rose Red, which was built in 1907 by Seattle oil magnate John P. Rimbauer. The mansion has a history of death and disappearances that began before it was even built, not to mention strange paranormal activity that seems to have stopped several years earlier.
Determined to wake up the ghostly activity, Joyce gathers a team of six people with different psychic abilities and arranges a weekend visit to the abandoned mansion courtesy of her boyfriend and present owner, Steve Rimbauer (Keeslar). Key to her plan is an autistic teen-age girl named Annie (Brown) who has powerful abilities, perhaps powerful enough to wake the dead.
As the group quickly learns, the power behind Rose Red was John Rimbauer's wife, Ellen (Julia Campbell). She believed that she wouldn't die as long as she continued to build the mansion. The building continued for decades until the mansion became a maze of bizarre rooms, including a mirror-floored library, an up-side down room and stairs that lead nowhere. While the construction stopped after Ellen's disappearance, the mansion seemingly continued to grow on its own.
Things begin to happen as soon as the team arrives. Strange breezes are only the beginning, as one person in the group descends into madness and the rest are left to face their most horrifying fears. Before long, Annie and the others find themselves in a fight for their lives as it becomes apparent that the house does not want them to leave. Ever.

I watched the mini series last night, 5 hours straight. Word of warning, if you want to watch the whole thing in one go, I suggest, DON"T. Its awfully long, and I found I wanted to fast forward some of it. So if you can watch it in stages, it'll be much better. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Lately, Mr King's screen work hasn't really been up to scratch with some of his previous works, in my opinion. So I watched it with that in mind. And was I surprised! Yes, the story is somewhat long winded, but I think it needs to be. I think if it was shorter, the impact of the story would have been lessened. The first part was pretty much story building. But once they entered the house, I was gripped. I must admit, some of the special effects were pretty standard, but the rest were totally movie quality. And also, I could tell Mr King had taken some of his storyline from previous works. The rock falling incident in the beginning scenes were straight out of Carrie. But I think it gave a nice touch, and if anyone knows Mr King's works, he does like to bring in characteristics from his other novels/movies. The actors, mainly Nancy Travis and Julian Sands, were top notch. Really above what you'd normally see in a made for TV mini series. So I recommend it highly. Even if it is a few years old, if you haven't seen it yet, and you love Stephen King as I do, Watch It!


nenni said...

There's alot of people who have been disappointed by some of his screen work as of late. I have to admit, I need to be in the right mood to read his books and sometimes even watch his screen work but you've told me how good it is, Michele and ShaZZa praised it on I'll be watching it very soon!

Michele said...

I agree with both of you. His more recent stuff has been lacking. That TV show that was aired on Prime Time TV at night is proof of that. But I did find this movie excellent. Even Jade sat all the way through it. Jade loves horror movies and most don't scare her. But there were scenes in this one that did.