Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, The
The diary of Ellen Rimbauer takes us back in time to the days before Rose Red – the house from the story and movie by Stephen King – is built. Ellen is a young woman who is in love with John Rimbauer, the most powerful man in Seattle. Despite him having had already multiple women as lover, she believes he will ask her to marry him and she doesn’t care about what he has done before. Her wish becomes true when one day he takes her out for a drive with his car and leads her to a construction place where a giant house is being built. The house will be his wedding present for her and while it’s being finished, the newly-wed couple will go on a world trip as honeymoon.
During this vacation, Ellen starts to find out that her husband has a rather strange appetite for sex but when she meets a black woman called Sukeena in Africa and the two become friends, Ellen decides to leave things as they are and takes Sukeena with her back to the US. Once back, the Rimbauers move into Rose Red but already at the first night something strange happens: during the party held for the couple, one of the guests sees something that scares the hell out of her.
Later on, women start disappearing from Rose Red but John Rimbauer doesn’t really seem to want to do anything about it so Ellen decides to consult Madame Lu who is a psychic. During a sceance, it becomes clear that the house contains an essence that wants it to be built bigger and bigger in order to keep people from disappearing. While Ellen – who by now already has a son and a daughter – starts construction works. However, when Ellen starts having more attention for her daughter than for the house, the essence clearly is getting agitated.
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is more than decent. Despite the movie being without widescreen, the amount of detail is good and compression errors are not present. Actually, it would be rather strange if compression errors would be present as there aren’t any extras on the disc that might take up space and require a higher compression for the film.
The soundtrack doesn’t really excell, but does create enough atmosphere to add to the overall experience. The surround speakers are used when necessary, just like the subwoofer, but not all the time. The dialogues are clear and understandable at all times.
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is produced by Stephen King but not based on one of his stories. Instead, it’s a prequel on King’s Rose Red and should give some insight into the mind of Ellen Rimbauer who started haunting Rose Red in King’s story. On one hand, the movie does manage to nicely tell the story of Ellen and how the house – Rose Red – was built. The atmosphere of the story is compelling and gripping and it doesn’t let you go. You want to know what happens and that’s what keeps you watching. However, that’s also its major downpoint. The movie doesn’t give additional information on the house or the ghosts that live there before the “disappearances” start, nor does it give a better insight in what happens later. The cause of the bloodthirst and urge to expand from Rose Red are not touched in this movie and together with the very disappointing finale, you stay with your hunger when the film is ended.