Newest Reviews
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Blue My Mind
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Danger Within
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
Painted Bird, The
Finding Steve McQueen
Five Easy Pieces
Queen of Hearts
Chinese Evil Technique
Newest Articles
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
  Rose: A Love Story The Woodsman's Truth
Year: 2020
Director: Jennifer Sheridan
Stars: Sophie Rundle, Matt Stokoe, Nathan McMullen, Olive Gray, Boadicea Ricketts
Genre: Horror, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rose (Sophie Rundle) lives deep in the forest with her husband Sam (Matt Stokoe), all alone, and she spends her time not out enjoying the sights and sounds of the countryside, but permanently indoors where the windows are blocked to prevent any sunlight entering their abode. Sam dotes over her to the extent that he forbids any contact with the outside world, but that is easier said than done when there are curious folks always threatening to impede on their peace. This is why he has set up traps around the cottage: partly to catch rabbits and other wildlife so he can serve them up as meals, and partly as a warning system whenever anyone is in the vicinity and getting too close for comfort - getting your leg caught painfully is perfect for scaring away any... enemies.

Proof some keen use of locations and production value will make up for a lack of budget, Rose: A Love Story was one of those chillers that happened along in the twenty-first century that were labelled "elevated horror" in some quarters, which basically meant they dipped into the techniques and tricks of the horror genre while remaining wedded to the arthouse. Comparisons between this and one of the highest profile efforts in that line, The Witch, were obviously going to be made, but producer and star Stokoe's script was less wary of diving straight into the shock elements, and the blood flowed freely in select places, not least because one of Sam's bizarre practices involves taking a jar of leeches and applying them to his bare legs to harvest his red stuff. But why?

You can guess they're for Rose, who needs special treatment in a manner that almost makes this a tale of a man looking after his ailing wife, in a medical drama kind of way, only the trappings of the snowy forest and the chilly, darkened cottage were more akin to a Grimm's fairy tale - before they rewrote them as more palatable for children. But the script kept its cards close to its chest, and didn't entirely explain everything in the abrupt, violent climax, adding a mood of mystery that director Jennifer Sheridan boosted with her knack of getting the right sense of menace to even the most loving of scenes between the two protagonists. Every shot in this contained a look of ominous potential, as if something really dreadful was going to occur no matter all the precautions Sam was so careful to put in place, which is of course the textbook example of the horror movie structure.

Sam does have some contact with the outside world, yet when he goes to meet that contact something has gone wrong and he has been replaced by a superficially plausible stand-in, not that Sam is convinced, and is forced to take matters into his own hands. At this point we can wonder if he is somehow victimising Rose to keep him all to himself, jealously guarding her against any prying eyes so she can be his and his alone, but the truth is he is justified in trying to keep her solitary, tragically so. Halfway through there is the introduction of a very non-fairy tale character (Olive Gray) who was essentially the equivalent of the kind of person who will walk in on you and demand to know exactly what it is you think you're doing which leaves you flustered and embarrassed even if it was perfectly innocent. But Sam and Rose are not so innocent, or anyway they are concealing a ghastly secret that does not appear to have been any fault of their own, they merely have to live with it until... Well, let's not give the game away, as a more traditional horror plotline is referred to, which is undeniably effective when it falls into place. Maybe a shade constrained, but they made that succeed for them as it suited the heavy atmosphere. Music by Cato Hoeben.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2721 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: