The diary of Ellen Rimbauer isn’t even a mixed bag, it’s just bad. It has the distinction of being the prequel of one of my all time favorite King Miniseries, Rose Red. Though that does little to help it, as the lack of King’s involvement is instantly felt. The diary of Ellen Rimbauer pales in comparison, lacking any of the scares or charm that was possessed by Rose Red. The diary of Ellen Rimbauer adds nothing new, it just plays through the history we learn about in Rose Red. With only adding small token changes that make no real sense.
Ellen Gilcrest (Lisa Brenner) gets proposed to by a wealthy business man, John Rimbauer (Steven Brand). Much to the delight of her close friend Connie Posey (Kate Burton), who happens to be married to John’s business partner, Doug (Bran Greenquist). For her honeymoon, John and Ellen take a trip around the world, while the construction on their home is finished. While in Africa, Ellen becomes ill and is taken care of by Sukeena (Tsidii Leloka). When they return home to the newly finished Rose Red, Ellen brings with her Sukeena. Ellen keeps a diary of her time at Rose Red, chronicling her husbands sexual appetite, the birth of her two children, and the frequent disappearances. Eventually Ellen calls on the aid of a mystic, Madame Lu (Tsai Chin) to help. While performing a seance at Rose Red, Madame Lu tells Ellen that she will live as long as she continues construction on the house. Something which she does, even as the disappearances continue…
Mainly I just found The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer boring. I’ve seen Rose Red probably a dozen times. I could barely get through this once. This is mainly on it being so damn slow. Having been familiarized with the story from Rose Red, all the high points were spoiled. At points they try to change stuff up, but it comes across more as those involved didn’t really care about the original story.
The acting isn’t even what I would call OK. Most of it is just down right bad. In fact I’m struggling to think of a single performance that I would qualify as good and I’m coming up blank. I feel this isn’t due to lack of talent, it’s that there isn’t a single engaging conversation.
Even the house, Rose Red manages to lose all of its menace. In Rose Red, Rose Red had a presence that was nearly palpable. An effect that is completely lost here. Rose Red feels like a backdrop more than being integral to the story. Which is sad.
Final Thoughts, I have no plans of ever re-watching this film, well mini-series. It lacks the story, charm and atmosphere that made its predecessor work. The diary of Ellen Rimbauer feels like a cheap knock-off. Probably because that’s exactly what it is. 2/10