college professor pays a group of psychics to spend a weekend
with her in Rose Red, the most notorious haunted house, where
26 people have died or gone missing. These days it appears
to be a 'dead cell', but the obsessive scientist secretly
plans to awaken the house with the presence of an autistic
girl who possesses remarkable telekinetic powers...
no doubt that Stephen King has a huge fanbase; the proof is
in his continued status as an international best-selling writer.
However, I don't consider myself one of them, at least not
via the printed word. In my experience, you could pretty much
tear the middle third from his doorstop novels without fear
of losing your way in the plot. I think his imaginative ideas
are much better suited to the screen.
adaptations quite often work well (The Dead Zone, The Green
Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and Misery, for
example), and quite often they do not (too many to mention).
In this case it's simply overkill.
crew of 800 people worked for four months to film this miniseries.
It's evident from the start that the majority of the budget
went on the life-size and model sets, which are extremely
effective. Having said that, the story should always be paramount,
and in Rose Red very little happens for long periods
at a time. This would have worked well as a half-hour Twilight
Zone type of tale, but more than four hours is simply
actors portray their parts quite well, considering they have
next to nothing to work with. It's interesting to note that
on a making-of featurette it's revealed Steven Spielberg approached
Stephen King to write the ultimate haunted house script. Before
it came to fruition, King sustained injuries in a serious
car accident. By the time he recovered, Spielberg had moved
on to other things (sensible chap), and so King made alternative
arrangements for its completion.
Red contains all the clichés in the book: an overgrown
manor house, mist, phantom draughts, whispering spirits, and
even a walking suit of armour and sinister paintings. For
goodness sake, Scooby-Doo was parodying this sort of
thing in 1969!
are a couple of nice touches: the house expanding and reshaping
itself, its proximity in the centre of modern Seattle, and
a garden statue pulling off its own face, but these are few
and far between.
is worth watching is a half-hour historical documentary of
Rose Red and its occupants, told in the style of factual
events and research, backed with evidence from the rediscovered
Lady Rimbauer's diaries.
for the main feature, it should be renamed Watching Paint
Dry - The Movie!
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