New On Demand from TriCoast Worldwide!
WHERE’S ROSE (2021)
Directed and written by John Mathis.
Starring Ty Simpkins, Anneliese Judge, Skyler Elyse Philpot, Cara AnnMarie, Kathy Searle, Joseph Gray, Nick Basta, Jacob Leinbach, Jacqueline Giancola, Matías De La Flor, Nic Brown!
Eric (Ty Simpkins aka the kid no one knew who he was at Stark’s funeral at the end of AVENGERS ENDGAME) is graduating high school and has a football scholarship for a decent school. On the night of his graduation party, his little sister Rose (Skyler Elyse Philpot) goes missing in the woods. Eric doesn’t know what happened, but when Rose is found, there is something different about her that Eric’s parents don’t notice. As Rose continues to exhibit some very creepy behavior like eating worms, talking to shadows, and appears to have completely black eyes, Eric becomes more concerned that something evil has taken Rose’s place in the family. But the more he digs, Eric begins to discover the truth about what happened that fateful night.
WHERE’S ROSE starts out as a rather milquetoast kind of movie. Eric is your all American boy, hanging with his pals, going to keggers, and prepping for college. Eric’s family seems pretty basic as well, living an ideal life in an ideal home. But the longer WHERE’S ROSE goes on, the darker it gets until it finally reaches it’s pitch black climax that is bound to shock you. I must admit, I wasn’t thinking much of this film at first, but the more the story unfolded, the more interested I became in how dark it was going to go. What started out as a movie of the week style lame-fest became so much more by the final reel.
That said, WHERE’S ROSE takes its time to get to that interesting part. The concept of a child being taken and replaced with something supernatural is a well tread path in horror, so much of WHERE’S ROSE felt like a big “been-there-done-that” burger. Eric being the only one suspicious of Rose’s replacement calls for a routine of setting up numerous scenes where Eric is caught enraged at Rose by his parents and the neighbors, only for the little girl to act innocent and set Eric up for suspicion. It takes quite a while to get to where things start feeling original and those with short attention and patience might check out before the gettin’ starts gettin’ good.
I think those who power though the schmaltzy and predictable stuff will appreciate the reward at the end of WHERE’S ROSE. It’s unconventional and tragic. Ty Simpkins is decent in the role sporting some River Phoenix like hair, but unfortunately not a lot of his acting chops. He works in this role, but doesn’t stand out as anything exceptional. He spends most of his time simply acting like a distracted teenager, so there isn’t a lot of opportunity to show a lot of range here. Little Skyler Elyse Philpot is decent too, but all she has to do is stand around and look sweet or sinister whenever it is necessary. While one might not seek out WHERE’S ROSE for its stellar thespian-work, the actors serve the script fine, delivering quite a dastardly little tale wrapped in a very plain white wrapper. See this one for the unconventional conclusion. It really is a wicked one.