The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer

06/06/2017 17:19

Film: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer

Year: 2003

Director: Craig R. Baxley

Writer: Ridley Pearson

Starring: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand and Kate Burton



This film begins with a group of people around a table during a séance. It is being led by Tsai Chin. Around the table are Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, Kate Burton and Brad Greenquist. Standing behind Brenner is Tsidii Leloka.

We go back before this happened to Brenner talking with Burton. The richest bachelor in Seattle has his eyes on Brenner, this bachelor is Brand. They meet with friends, one of them being Deirdre Quinn. Quinn keeps making snide remarks. She used to be a lover of Brand and he has moved on from her. Brenner doesn’t pay her much attention.

Brand seems to have fallen for Brenner. He takes her the site of the house he is building. It is going to be a giant mansion that will be named Rose Red. The man who is overseeing the building of this building is Greenquist, who is married to Burton. While they are close by, we see an argument amongst the workers where a man pulls out a shotgun. Brenner and Brand hear it go off and Greenquist will look into it.

Brenner and Brand get married and they spend their honeymoon with a year long trip around the world. This takes them to Africa where we really get a sense of what type of man Brand really is. He gets drunk and is entranced by an African woman who is dancing before him. Leloka is there, looking at Brenner. By the end of the night we see that Brenner, Brand and the African end up in bed together.

Brenner becomes pregnant during this trip and she also becomes ill. Leloka tells her that this is due to Brand infidelity. Brenner asks if she will die and Leloka confirms she won’t, but what Brand has is known to cause madness.

They return to Seattle where Brenner has a son, Adam. The disappearances start during this time. One of them is Quinn. Brenner also starts to see that the women that disappear are all ones that Brand has an affair with. She wants to have a séance to see what is causing this, but Brand won’t hear of it.

Brenner finds out some more information about her husband and uses it against Brand, convincing him to have the séance that we saw in the beginning. What will Brenner find out? What does the house want? Can it be appeased? Or will it take everyone as its victim?

This film is interesting, because it was written by writer of the teleplay for this television movie. It should also be noted that this is the first time that another writer has wrote a prequel to a Stephen King work. This film is a prequel to Rose Red that King wrote and tells the back-story to the Rimbauers, the creators of the mansion. This film took some of the historical points that was in the original film and incorporates it into this one. It also does change some things that happen, which I’m not a big fan. An example of this is the suicide that happens in Rose Red, where the man has a cowboy hat on and tosses it to Adam Rimbauer. It doesn’t happen in this film. Rose Red is also a ghost story where the house is a major character, we see the beginnings of that, but Brenner and Leloka acknowledge that the house is alive, but do not seem to concern themselves really with the ghosts that are already in it. It seemed odd to me since that was the major theme of the first one. It is possible that since it is really early on in the history of the house that is why.

The acting was decent at best. I didn’t like that they couldn’t get the same actors to play Ellen or John Rimbauer. Brenner was pretty good, speaking I’ve only seen her in The Patriot outside of this. She did a solid job as this main character. Brand was okay as the angry John. I will give him credit that as the film goes on; we do see him descend into madness and anger. I was happy to see Leloka reprise her role, she had a lot more screen time in this film. The rest of the cast was mediocre and no one really stood out to me.

The film’s pacing was really slow. For a film that is not overly long, it drug for the most of it for me. The film being a prequel it has certain things it had to do, but it never really got exciting to me. I did find this one to be boring. The film’s editing was also hampered by it being a TV movie. It has to do cuts to go to commercials which take you out of the film, even when the commercials themselves are removed from it. I also didn’t notice the soundtrack to the film, so to me it didn’t hurt or help the film.

Now with that said, I wouldn’t view this film unless you really enjoyed Rose Red. This is a prequel to the film and is nothing more as a filler piece if you are interested in knowing more about the origins of the house and the family that built it, the Rimbauers. The acting was decent, but no one stood out. The story does follow most all of the major plot points we learned in the previous film. The pacing was a little too slow for me and never built the tension this film needed. The editing and soundtrack really don’t add much to the film either. I wouldn’t view this by itself as it doesn’t carry enough to be enjoyable. As a companion piece to Rose Red, it works if you want to know more.


My Rating: 5 out of 10