18 January 2009 | Doylenf
Stylish, handsomely produced thriller using Stephen King characters...
Using the Stephen King characters from "Rose Red," THE DIARY OF ELLEN RIMBAUER is a prequel to that little saga of a monstrous house that seems to be devouring its victims.
This version of the Rose Red story is handsomely photographed and well acted but suffers from a script that never really bothers to explain anything. The viewer is left pondering plot details up until the very end, when again there is a letdown of even more ambiguity.
Nevertheless, it manages to impress with the performances, the settings, the costumes and the plot itself is a mixed bag of so many thrillers from the past, even including the more genteel JANE EYRE or any of the Victorian novels that dealt with a house of dark decay and a sinister leading man.
STEVEN BRAND is the darkly handsome head of the household whose soul is corrupted by carnal desires, an unfaithful man who brings his bride LISA BRENNER to live in Rose Red, where she is gradually subjected to all sorts of vague fears and terrors and things that go bump in the night.
It's really silly stuff, not to be taken seriously, but does give rise to some goosebumps once in awhile. Eventually, the murky plot just gets muddier and all of the elements mesh into one big, slow-paced thriller that is efficient enough to produce a few chills but too ambiguous for its own good.