Rose: A Love Story film review

Rose: A Love Story

Director: Jennifer Sheridan

Starring: Sophie Rundle, Matt Stokoe and Olive Gray

More of our BFI LFF coverage

Rose: A Love Story World Premiere

Rose: A Love Story had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and was very hotly anticipated by both Heather and Valks senior editor Georgie. I am pleased to report that Rose: A Love Story lived up to both our expectations and even surpassed them.

Not all is what it seems 

Rose and Sam live together in a cabin deep amongst dense woodland. Their cabin is certainly not the traditional cabin in the woods you may be imagining, there are no windows, strange rooms and locks on the outside of doors. Not only that, but watch your step, there are traps plenty hidden in the foliage. With such great lengths to stay hidden, audiences can only begin to wonder what the couple is hiding from, or, what are they trying to hide? 

Rose and Sam looking ominously into a dark room

A couple dedicated to one another

Strange home aside, we are privy to seeing Rose and Sam living their lives, seeing them interacting with one another and the tender moments between them. There’s so much love and devotion, the depth of which becomes clearer later on, for a while it’s as though they are just two people against the world. Although as a couple they are clearly dedicated to one another, they are still facing their ups and downs. Some that all couples may be able to relate too and others…  well other issues allude to darker goings-on.  However, this bubble is soon burst. Suddenly their quiet is disrupted. and their sanctuary is invaded by an unpredictable entity. 

Rose wearing a red dress looking at her reflection in the mirror

Physicality and intensity 

Another success lies in the physicality of Rose: A Love Story. Whilst some horror films may lean heavily towards creating fantastical horrifying worlds/ monsters, CGI is something that’s hugely hit or miss. However, Rose: A Love Story utilises the chemistry and intensity of its lead actors. Both Sophie Rundle and Matt Stokoe deliver stellar performances. Matt Stokoe (Sam) oozes desperation and reeks of a many rapidly trying to cling to hope that is slipping away. He is desperate to hold on to any semblance of their previous lives. Whilst Sophie Rundle absolutely dazzles in her quiet calmness. She is a pillar of quiet acceptance and demonstrates a huge resolve, right up until she doesn’t. 

Slow simmer

Rose: A Love Story shines in its slow simmer. Each crunch on the snow-covered ground, each quiet calculated camera angle and each creeping shadow. Similar in aesthetic to the likes of It Comes at Night, the surroundings play a large part in the films brilliance. With dense, snow-capped forests sprawling in every direction, it is hard to not feel the icy chill of isolation.

Rose: A Love Story should be on your most anticipated list! 

See more of our BFI London Film Festival Coverage here.

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