The vampire subgenre has become almost ubiquitous to the point of over-saturation, and as a result it’s becoming very difficult for filmmakers to put a fresh spin on the tropes and trappings that have been done to death hundreds of times dating back a century.
However, Jennifer Sheridan’s hugely accomplished debut feature Rose: A Love Story isn’t just a whip-smart update on the lore we’ve all come to associate with the bloodsucking undead, but it turned out to be eerily reflective of the pandemic, even though the lo-fi independent movie was only released in October of 2020.
Matt Stokoe and Sophie Rundle star as a young couple who live a life of isolation deep in the wounds, due to the latter suffering from a violent, terrifying affliction that’s given her an unquenchable thirst for blood. Not only does it put a severe strain on the relationship, but events in the outside world threaten to have a disastrous effect on their entire lives.
As the title suggests, Rose: A Love Story isn’t necessarily an out-and-out horror, but it does feature plenty of atmosphere and an unnerving sense of dread, even if the dynamic between the two main characters always remains the focal point of the story.
An 80% Rotten Tomatoes score but no audience ratings at all indicates that too many people have been sleeping on the film, but HBO subscribers have clearly stumbled across Rose: A Love Story, with FlixPatrol revealing that it’s been steadily rising up the platform’s global most-watched list all week.