RED ROSE on Netflix is a new horror series produced by the BBC. The story plays out in the Northern part of England, but the issues are international. Also, the core cast is teenagers, but it’s relevant for all horror-loving ages. Read our full Red Rose season 1 review here!
RED ROSE is a new Netflix horror series that originally aired on BBC Three in the UK in August 2022. In other words, watch out for spoilers if you start looking into the plot online. You do not want this one to be spoiled for you. The story is dark and deadly in very realistic ways.
Since this is a production from the BBC, it probably won’t be surprising that it takes place in the Northern part of England. However, the core cast consists of teenagers getting ready to go to college and figure out what they become in life. In that sense, it’s very international. And “red rose” is an app, which quickly makes it apparent how much power our phones have in our life.
Continue reading our Red Rose season 1 review below. We’ve watched all eight episodes for this review and you can find them on Netflix from February 15, 2023.
Friends stick together
While the core characters are teenagers, this story is definitely relevant for all horror-loving ages. Both because it deals with issues that are very real and relevant to all of us, but also because it focuses on friendship and sticking together. Keeping an eye out for each other, and reaching out when someone is struggling, is relevant for all ages.
Though the characters in Red Rose are a bit older, I immediately thought of iconic movies such as Stand By Me or even The Goonies. The group of friends in Red Rose can tease each other and get hurt or upset, but they still stick together. And especially stick up for one another.
A death very early on in the series – one of the teens in this group of friends – makes this even more important. It’s assumed to be a suicide, but especially the closest friend of the one who died refuses to believe it was a suicide. To be fair, it’s easy to understand why this seems unlikely.
The Red Rose app
When the friends discover that she recently installed a new weird app called “Red Rose” on her phone, they look into it. Calling the Red Rose app a Pandora’s Box feels almost like an understatement. Anyone who installs the app seems to suffer personal and emotional horror before dying.
This gives a whole new meaning to the concept of paranoia. We’re on the darkest parts of the Dark Web with this app.
The tagline of this series is “It’s not just your battery that could die” which ties into this desperate need we have for our smartphones in life now. Everything from communication to our calendars and even banking is on those things. And in Red Rose, an app that seems to have supernatural and paranormal powers is demanding to be obeyed at all times.
Such a powerful ending to the Red Rose series on Netflix
There are eight 45-minute episodes in season 1. While I definitely enjoyed every single one of the episodes, I wanted to highlight the final two episodes which are where everything is revealed. This isn’t a series that requires an “ending explained” since the series has this built-in.
And those two final episodes of Red Rose season 1 on Netflix are brilliant. It turns into a whole different level of horror from what you might expect.
Also, those very final moments of episode 8 make it look very possible that a season 2 could happen! Personally, I would love to watch Red Rose season 2. Especially if it was to build on those final moments of season 1. But really, I’d just love to dive even further into the dark world explored in this series.
Watch season 1 of Red Rose on Netflix now!
Red Rose is created by The Clarkson Twins – Michael Clarkson and Paul Clarkson – who also worked as producers on Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Bly Manor. In other words, The Clarkson Twins have already been part of creating a series I loved. They also produced eight episodes of the See series and wrote on eight episodes of The Wheel of Time.
I’ve seen a few of the young actors from the core cast before, but a few of them are also quite new. All of them, however, deliver truly amazing and believable portrayals. And these teens deal with much more than having a crazy app on their smartphones. We’re talking about alcoholic parents, dead family members, and serious financial problems.
There is a lot to deal with for all of them on top of just being at the beginning of their lives. It’s like the brilliant UK series Skins but with a series of horror mysteries at the heart of it. Honestly, I expected this series to be entertaining and fun to watch, but it ended up being so much more. And better! Despite also being very intense and heartbreaking at times!
Red Rose season 1 is on Netflix from February 15, 2023.
Directors: Lisa Siwe, Ramón Salazar, Henry Blake
Writers: Michael Clarkson, Paul Clarkson, Poppy Cogan, Tolula Dada, Gemma Hurley
Cast: Amelia Clarkson, Natalie Hoflin, Ellis Howard, Ali Khan, Ashna Rabheru, Harry Redding, Natalie Gavin, Adam Nagaitis, Isis Hainsworth, Samuel Anderson, Nia Roberts, Rod Hallett, Harry Cadby, Emma Fryer, Ruaridh Mollica, Silvie Furneaux, Hannah Griffiths, Jennifer Hennessy, Ellie James, Poppy Jhakra, Leo Ashton, Graeme Hawley, Gary Fannin, Charlie Hiscock, Amerjit Deu, Robyn Cara, Emma Rydal, Walles Hamonde, Esh Alladi, Katy Bartrop, Tony Hirst, Daniel Coll, Tom Rosenthal, Chris Kerry, Hiroki Berrecloth
A ragtag crew of teens must survive a summer of terror after downloading an app that makes dangerous demands with deadly consequences.