While watching Stephen King’s Pet Graveyard the other night, a friend and I chatted about some of Stephen’s other movies. When I mentioned Rose Red, my friend bought the movie “Ellen Rimbauer’s Diary” as a prequel. Since I enjoyed Rose Red, I just had to see this Ellen movie. I hadn’t watched it for a long time, so I turned on my beloved Netflix and added both movies to the top of the list and waited a couple of days for them to arrive.

We saw the first half of Rose Red one night (it’s two-part) and the second half together with Ellen the next night. As Ellen got ready to start, I realized that it was not written by Stephen King, but by a man named “Ridley Pearson” who must have been very impressed with Rose Red to make a movie, my friend said.

I wondered if the same lady who played Ellen in Rose Red would act in the new movie, but neither she nor the husband was the same. John was played by the handsome Steven Brand. I kept thinking to myself that the whole movie seemed so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it. I’m usually pretty good at identifying actors and I knew I had recently seen a movie with him. The movie had the original maid from Africa, which was great. We both also wondered if the movie would explain why the land on which Rose Red was built seemed to be doomed. The film began by elaborating on the early years of Ellen and John’s marriage. Take Ellen to the house while it is under construction so she can see it; he happens to propose to her just as the man shoots the foreman with a flashback to the movie Rose Red.

Ellen asks if this was a bad omen for them not to get married. Although I am not a superstitious person, I could have agreed with her! John assured her that she was not and they went on a yearlong honeymoon that takes her to Africa, to her illness and to meet the servant Sukeena (Tsidii Le Loka), an extremely accomplished singer and actress. The story progresses with John being a womanizer that at that time it was quite common for men to have affairs, but Rose Red did not like it and the women continue to mysteriously disappear sucked into the house. Journal

The movie portrays Ellen as sweeter than the evil grandmother she played in Rose Red and went on to explain a bit why the house was evil. Although I enjoyed the film, I was not entirely satisfied, I could have gone deeper and elaborated on the story, which is often the case with books turned into movies. I think I’m going to read the book that got good reviews. And just so you know I did IMDB actor Steven Brand who played husband John, of course he was right. I saw him in a movie last week, “The Scorpion King”, he played the very handsome but bad Memnon.

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