Aunt Rose (DVD)



Aunt Rose DVD (Click for larger image)Starring Joshua Nelson, Elizabeth Cooke, Kevin T. Collins

Directed by James Tucker

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment


"A highly entertaining horror film." So reads a blurb on the back of the DVD box for Aunt Rose. Sometimes I wonder if I have watched the same film as another critic. Could it be that I'm missing something? A nugget of goodness that would enhance my viewing experience tenfold? In this instance, despite my desperate searching, I have come up empty-handed. There are times when watching a movie that things become so convoluted and tedious that the mind wanders. Even though your eyes are focused on the screen, your brain is on auto-pilot and off milling about elsewhere. You're mentally indulging in other activities. Such as ad-libbing the lyrics of James Taylor songs for absolutely no reason at all.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen shitty films that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I swear I'll never watch this again

Yep, this was one of those times.

Aunt Rose sure did sound like fun. Three lunatic killers on the run seek refuge in the house of a suburban family who have a loony aunt with supernatural powers living behind a locked door on the third floor of their home. Of course the killers and the crazy lock horns, and from there a body count starts mounting. Harmless brain candy, right?

Wrong.

Aunt Rose's only truly effective moments are its opening credit sequence and its very first scene. In the film's first shot we find the title character obscured by shadows in her bed while singing "Three Blind Mice" to herself. It's just as creepy as it needed to be, and for a moment the thought occurs that this might be good. Then it happens. The actors start delivering the dialogue. Every line is painfully forced and way over emoted. It's almost as if the players were trying too hard to sound natural. This is a pity because honestly, the script, which was penned by the film's star, Joshua Nelson, is extremely well written. The man can write, but he, like most everyone else in the film, just can't act. It broke my heart to watch helplessly as almost every single line was flubbed in rapid fire succession.

Aunt Rose DVD (Click for larger image)In a truly ironic twist that not even the snooze-fest-twist-king M. Night Shayamalan could have concocted, the best actress in the flick gets offed while playing out a scene in which she's bragging about her acting skills. Color me stymied.

There's also another quote on the box: " ... delivers the gore ... " It did? Where exactly was the gore delivered to? Did someone sign for it? I demand to see a tracking number! While Aunt Rose did provide the basic use of the red stuff, I'd hardly call it gory. The violence is purely garden variety. A slit throat here, a stabbed eye there, and of course the prerequisite vomiting of blood. Been there, done that, blah blah blah.

And what of Aunt Rose and her supernatural abilities? Does she wreak any havoc? Well yes, but not until like an hour and ten minutes into the movie, and even then we'd all have been better off is she just stuck to the occasional warbling of a nursery rhyme. In case you haven't figured it out by now, let me be blunt -- this movie sucks.

It's hard to imagine that a single person on the planet would want to know more about Aunt Rose after watching it, but there are a couple of supplements included to round out this package. We're treated to a thirty-minute long behind-the-scenes featurette that is more entertaining than the film itself and a handful of unfinished deleted scenes. The extras are painless and go by quickly, but they do not do anything to wash away the bad taste that's left in your mouth after being subjected to this mess.

When thinking about how to rate this DVD, it's hard not to give it a zero. The only thing keeping it from donut-land is the quality of the screenplay. If the film's acting and direction could have kept up with the top-notch verbiage, Aunt Rose could have been a winner. As is, it's barely a contender.

Special Features
Behind-the-scenes featurette
Deleted scenes
Every actress has a nice rack

1 out of 5

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