Blast from the past

If You Liked The Haunting of Hill House… You’re Going To Love Rose Red


If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m obsessed with The Haunting of Hill House. The Netflix supernatural horror series follows the lives of the Crain family and the affect that living in the haunted Hill House had on them.

Almost every single one of the family members if affected by the ghosts lurking at every corner of the house, and the series itself become a two day binge event for Martin and me.
However, after we finished the series, I was reminded of another great (yet older) haunted house series. Rose Red.

Yeah, I remember watching Rose Red for the first time back in 2002 when it was actually released and just like in The Haunting of Hill House’s case it also freaked me out to no end.
It’s soooo scary. And for someone who doesn’t sit well with the horror genre, it was frightening to watch back then. Rose Red was a 3 part mini-series written by the master of horror himself. Stephen King.

Originally conceived as a feature film, writer Stephen King pitched the idea for Rose Red to Steven Spielberg in 1996, envisioning it as a loose remake of Robert Wise’s The Haunting (which itself was based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House).

It had some of my favorite actors in the cast and let’s not forget an amazing cameo from King in the role of a pizza delivery man. Nancy Travis, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Jimmi Simpson and young Emily Deschanel in just her second TV credited role.

But what was Rose Red about? Well, a group of people with psychic powers are invited to spend the night in a haunted house. They’re invited on behalf of Dr. Joyce Reardon, an unorthodox university psychology professor, in an attempt to record data which would constitute scientific proof of paranormal phenomena.

The mansion is publicly thought to be haunted, as at least 23 people have either disappeared or died there and the interior of the house appears to change or increase in size, yet only from the inside. Reardon’s team awakens the evil spirit possessing the house, leading to several deaths and the revelation of the mansion’s deadly secrets.

King partly based his concept for Rose Red on the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, but added the concept that the house could appear larger and different on the inside even though it looked the same from the outside.

Interesting fact about the mini-series is that Rose Red is loosely based on Sarah Winchester and The Winchester “Mystery” House. The story has noticeably strong ties to Shirley Jackson’s book which was made into the movie, The Haunting (1963) which Stephen King has mentioned was one of his favorite novels.

The reception for the mini-series was mixed, but more than a decade after it aired, Rose Red has gained a great deal of cult following, especially among the Stephen King fans.

So, if you have a chance to see it, I urge you to do so… It’s campy and sometimes weird… it was done with lots of love and dedication.


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