Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Rose Red' is a house you might want to avoid

Rose Red (2002)
Starring: Nancy Travis, Julian Sands, and Matt Keeslar
Director: Craig R. Baxley
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

A self-absorbed, mentally unstable psychology professor (Travis) leads a team of psychics into Seattle's most haunted house--a house so haunted that it builds expansions to itself.

"Rose Red" is a made-for-TV chiller that tries to capture the feel of great haunted house flicks like "The Changeling", "House on Haunted Hill" and "Legend of Hell House." It mostly fails to do so, even if it is from a script by Stephen King.

Originally aired as a two-part mini-series, the movie has a few mild scares, but the truly chilling moments are few and far between. The performances by the actors are okay, but generally bland; the story is plagued by "stupid-character-syndrom"; and the house never really takes on the sort of menace/personality that the settings for this kind of movie MUST possess in order for the work to really be successful. The lack of personality in the house--and no number of characters telling the viewer how spooky the place is can create it--is what really kills "Rose Red".

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