BBC Three teen horror series Red rose has been very well received by critics after its premiere earlier this week.
Set in Bolton, the action centers on a group of schoolmates as a rogue app gradually takes over their phones, threatening them with sinister consequences if they don’t meet its demands. The cast includes the last kingdomby Amelia Clarkson metal lordsIsis Hainsworth and doctor whoIt’s Samuel Anderson.
Created by The Curse of Bly Manorby Michael and Paul Clarkson, Red rose it is directed by MElightby Ramón Salazar and produced by Eleven, the company behind Sex education. Reviews have drawn comparisons to big-name, big-name shows like the techno-thriller anthology black mirror and acclaimed Channel 4 sitcom Derry girls.
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Here’s a rundown of what critics thought:
“Combining the British Teen Grittiness™ of skins with the disturbingly disobedient technology of black mirror, Red rose is BBC Three’s latest offbeat young adult offering.
“Based on a number of breaking topics, Red roseThe first episode of was highly entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking. Great performances from the main cast (particularly Isis Hainsworth) elevated Red rose beyond the usual fare without sacrificing display capacity, but be warned, you’ll never look at your phone the same way again.”
“The creators, Michael and Paul Clarkson, have previously worked with horror hokum (they produced The Curse of Bly Manor), but here they do something more attractive. The two leads, Rochelle (Hainsworth) and Wren (Amelia Clarkson), are up to their necks in a plausible teenage upset, already featuring poverty, childcare, broken homes and our old friends spendthrift parents.”
den of geeks
“Social media is mean and scary, young women are often horrible to each other, and everyone spends way too much time on their phones, it’s actually NOT the main thing about the first three episodes of this kind of YA horror series.” new on BBC Three.
“It’s actually a lot more nuanced than that in a series that initially plays like a mix of 2010s horror, 1990s teen drama and derry girls‘ rough sense of humor and ready dirty mouth. Strange combination although it may sound, in Red rose works, picking out the best of the tropes, populating the show with likeable, believable characters, and sprinkling modern social realism into the mix.”
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“In many ways, this series tackles the complexities of teenage life: the jealousy, heartbreak and fear of ‘missing out’ feel relatable and familiar. Its talented young cast brings the dialogue to life, making the characters feel rooted both in his playful banter and his understandable fears.
“Even, Red rose it suffers from a clash of big ideas, all vying for our attention at any given moment: virtual reality, ghosts, exorcisms, mental health issues, and poverty. The show seems like it’s not sure what it wants to be, and in its attempt to cover all the bases of the thriller genre, the story gets muddled.”
“I wasn’t sure modern teens would turn to church to fight the app’s supernatural powers, like they do in Red rose. Surely they would have tried the digital hacks before the holy water? But then it’s fun to watch them pit old magic against new in this engaging Ken Loach/Stephen King clash of worlds.”
Red rose airs on BBC Three and is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.