BBC Three’s Red Rose compared to Black Mirror and Derry Girls

BBC Three’s Red Rose compared to Black Mirror and Derry Girls

BBC Three’s Red Rose compared to Black Mirror and Derry Girls

BBC Three’s teen horror series Red rose was warmly received by critics after its premiere earlier this week.

Set in Bolton, the action centers on a group of school mates as their phones are gradually taken over by a malicious app threatening them with dire consequences if they fail to meet its demands. The cast includes The Last Kingdomthis is Amelia Clarkson, metal lords“Isis Hainsworth and Doctor Whoit’s Samuel Anderson.

Created by The Haunting of Bly Manorby Michael and Paul Clarkson, Red rose is realized by Elightby Ramon Salazar and produced by Eleven, the company behind Sex education. Critics have made big-name comparisons, name-dropping shows such as the techno-thriller anthology black mirror and the acclaimed Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls.

natalie blair, ellis howard, isis hainsworth, amelia clarkson, harry redding, red rose


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Here’s a summary of what critics thought:


“Combining the British Teen Grittiness™ of Skins with the strangely disobedient technology of black mirror, Red rose is the latest offbeat YA offering from BBC Three.

“Drawing on a multitude of current topics, Red roseThe first episode of was both highly entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking. Great performances from the main cast (especially Isis Hainsworth) were elevated Red rose beyond the usual fare without sacrificing visibility – but be warned, you’ll never look at your phone the same way again.”

The Guardian

“The creators, Michael and Paul Clarkson, have done horror stories before (they produced The Haunting of Bly Manor), but here they do something more engaging. The two leads, Rochelle (Hainsworth) and Wren (Amelia Clarkson), are up to their necks in plausible adolescent vexation, already featuring poverty, childcare, broken homes and our wasteful old fathers.”

Geek’s Lair

“Social media is bad and scary, young women are often awful to each other and everyone spending too much time on their phones is actually NOT the main takeaway from the first three episodes of this sort 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, ready-to-mouth sense of humor. Although it may seem strange, in Red rose it works, picking the best of tropes, filling the series with likable and believable characters, and sprinkling modern social realism into the mix.”

amelia clarkson, ali khan, ashna rabheru, harry redding, natalie blaire, ellis howard, red rose


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The Independent

“In many ways, this series illustrates the complexities of teenage life – the jealousy, angst and fear of ‘missing out’ feels relatable and familiar. Its talented young cast brings the dialogue to life, allowing the characters to feel grounded in both their playful banter and their understandable fears.

“Still, Red rose suffers from a clash of big ideas, all vying for our attention at all times: virtual reality, ghosts, exorcisms, mental health issues and poverty. The series seems uncertain of what it wants to be, and in its attempt to cover all the bases of the thriller genre, the story becomes a blur.”

The telegraph

“I wasn’t sure modern teens would turn to the church to fight the app’s supernatural powers, like they do in Red rose. Surely they would have tried 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.

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