Halloween Kingathon – The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)

Banner-3logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Ridley Pearson (Screenplay) Stephen King (Characters)

Starring: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, Kate Burton, Tsidii Leloka, Brad Greenquist, Deirdre Quinn, Tsai Chin, Hans Altwies

Plot: Set at the turn of the century, this is the tale of Ellen Rimbauer who just received this mysterious mansion as a wedding gift from her new husband. Her husband is a Seattle oil tycoon who has a dark past which Ellen eventually finds out about. She becomes fearful of her husband when she learns of some disappearances of people that were close to him. Also there are some unexplained happenings at the Rose Red Mansion that might have a connection to these people who have disappeared. Now Ellen is worried she might be next.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Horror Drama

Story: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer starts with the diary of Ellen (Brenner) who talks about the house being a spirit house, before flashing back to 1910 where Ellen is just waiting for John Rimbauer (Brand) to propose. John proposes with the Rose Red Mansion as his gift for her.

While on their honeymoon Ellen became sick but thanks to Sukeena (Leloka) her life is saved and a new loyal friend comes home with her. Once the house is opened to live in strange things start occurring in the home with the idea that the house is built upon an ancient Indian Burial Ground.

With the marriage continuing the love starts to dwindle but the house isn’t happy as it starts to make people disappear leading to Ellen having to consult a spiritualist Madame Lu (Chin) for answers. When the second disappearance happens Ellen and Sukeena start to investigate the house themselves looking for answers to the unexplained.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to bring us a prequel story to the scare filled Rose Red, but in the end the film ends up becoming very flat just showing the relationship between the Rimbauer’s without offering a single scare. The story tells us just extended scenes of the back story we learn in Rose Red and really just leaves us flat and disappointed that this is in fact just a drama. (3/10)

Actor Review

Lisa Brenner: Ellen Gilcrest Rimbauer is the young lady who marries power oil tycoon John, the wedding present is the Rose Red Mansion but the mansion has a mind of its own as it tries to protect Ellen from all the wrong doings in the house, but when she tries to escape the house comes after he nearest and dearest as she descends into madness. Lisa does a solid job in the role. (6/10)

Steven Brand: John Rimbauer is the oil tycoon that marries Ellen but always wants to be in control but when he tries to control Ellen the house decides to help her fight back. Steven gives a solid performance but never really shines. (5/10)

Tsidii Leloka: Sukeena is the helper Ellen meets in Africa that helps her through a sickness before becoming her most trusted friend, she helps Ellen learn about the house through the film. Tsidii does a solid job throughout. (6/10)

Support Cast: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer has a supporting cast that mostly includes the people that go missing or seem to be against one member of the Rimbauer’s causing the friction.

Director Review: Craig R BaxleyCraig brings us a horror film with no scares and a drama with nothing interesting happening. (3/10)

Drama: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer ends up bring the family drama from the high society world in rather boring style. (4/10)

Horror: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer offers nearly no scares. (1/10)

Mystery: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to offer a mystery but it really doesn’t because we know what happens. (3/10)

Settings: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer keeps most of the film inside the mansion but it just doesn’t have the same haunting feeling as the first outing. (5/10)

Suggestion: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is one you could easily miss because it gives us nothing in a world created from the first Rose Red. (Avoid It)

Best Part: Nothing.

Worst Part: Ruins what was created.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Last year Stephen King and Craig Baxley dared you to stay at Rose Red. Now see how the terror began.

Overall: Disappointingly dull horror drama

Rating 15

Rose Red (2002) Mini Series

logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly j. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell, Emily Deschanel


Plot: Rose Red is one of the most haunted mysterious houses in America, with people disappearing and dying mysteriously for a century. Professor Joyce Reardon (Travis) wants to prove the existence of the paranormal. Along with the last remaining family member Steve Rimbauer (Keeslar) she arrange for a team of different type of psychic to investigate. Her team includes Cathy (Ivey), Emery (Ross), Nick (Sands), Victor (Tighe), Pam (Deschanel) and an autistic girl Annie (Brown) and her non-psychic sister Rachel (Lynskey). Spending the weekend in the house how will they cope with all the haunting going on and how many secrets does the house hold?


Verdict: King delivers another wonderfully creepy story

Story: Not many people can create a large cast and develop the characters so well, King knows how to do this and this proves it again. With plenty of mystery involved and secrets from the house and the characters we get a genuine creepy story. (9/10)


Actor Review: Nancy Travis – Joyce her obsession with Rose Red will push her to professional limits and personally limits. It is a good performance from Nancy showing how an obsession can take over you goals. (9/10)


Actor Review: Matt Keeslar – Steve the last remaining family member of the house who has also experienced the houses power as a child. Good performance as one of the voices of reason who seemingly doesn’t suffer from the hauntings compared to the rest. (8/10)


Actor Review: Kimberly J. Brown – Annie the autistic girl with the strongest powers of all the psychics. Good performance from the young actress who is important to the story. (8/10)


Actor Review: Melanie Lynskey – Rachel one of the non-psychics who also doesn’t seem to suffer from the hauntings but is only there to protect her sister. Good performances with a calm protective domineer. (8/10)


Actor Review: Julian Sands – Nick a mind reader who is the one of the nicest characters involved always knowing more than the rest but unwilling to share to protect the rest. The star of the show here, dominating the screen every time he is on it. Star Performance Award, Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)


Actor Review: Matt Ross – Emery a very unlikeable character who only cares about himself but has a power to make the spirits disappear. Great performance to create such an unlikeable but important character. (9/10)


Actor Review: Judith Ivey – Cathy she believes that god will protect her against anything in the house and with her power she also is an important to the final showdown. Good performance to show a good character that has to deal with all the anti-good in the house. (8/10)

Director Review: Craig R Baxley – Great direction to turn this great story into such an interesting visual experience. (9/10)


Horror: Great build for horror that doesn’t scare you silly but offers enough jumps to keep you on the edge of your seat. (8/10)

Thriller: it may be four hours long but you just want to keep watching to see what will happen next. (9/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects but some poor or dated effects. (7/10)

Believability: Many people believe at haunted house but this goes to the extremes. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Rose Red is an excellent setting for the film showing that isolation even in the middle of a big city can create extra scares. (10/10)


Suggestion: Stephen King fans have to watch this most horror fans have to watch this but just don’t expect gore. This is a great series that people will enjoy watching. (Watch)


Best Part: Cathy gets lost in the house.

Worst Part: It could be too long for some.

Oscar Chances: No but got nominated for Prime Time Emmy.

Chances of Sequel: No


Overall: Great miniseries that has plenty of scares.

Rating 85