Red Rose review: Riveting cyber thriller

Red Rose is a thriller drama that follows a group of teenagers embroiled in a lethal game. It talks about the dangers of cyber theft and technological obsession, taking it to a fatal level. The show premiered on BBC 3 in 2022 and is now streaming on Netflix.


Red Rose begins by showing a girl named Alyssa committing suicide. The plot switches to Bolton, where Rochelle, Wren, Ashley, Anthony, Taz, and Noah celebrate the end of school. 

Rochelle eventually ends up downloading an app called Red Rose, which promises to grant users their wishes if they perform the given tasks. The app becomes a dangerous piece of tech as it begins to agonize her. 

It taunts Rochelle with clips of her dead mother and sends her friends texts she did not write. The gang decides to give in and play one of Red Rose’s games. 

Powered by complex AI, Red Rose takes all its user’s private information and uses it against them. It aims to alienate them from loved ones, making them vulnerable to misery. 

The outcome is catastrophic as Rochelle, gradually losing her mind, kills herself. The gang travels to Manchester and meets Jaya, a student from their school, who is also a coder.

With her, they gradually discover a sinister plot behind Red Rose and uncover a sickening game being puppeteered by a mysterious person called the Gardner.


The main cast is at its best in Red Rose. Amelia Clarkson (Wren), Isis Hainsworth (Rochelle), Natalie Blair (Ashley), Ellis Howard (Anthony), Ali Khan (Taz), Ashna Rabheru (Jaya), and Harry Redding (Noah) manage to instill deep empathy for their characters within the audience.

They also perfectly highlight the intricacies of teenage and make their characters feel relatable with their mischievous banter and their coherent dread.


Red Rose comes from the producers of Sex Education, and the quality speaks for itself. The show masterfully creates a balance between the creepy and the dramatic side of things.

The narrative cares about its characters and doesn’t push flashy horror tropes at you to move forward. The suspense is well-curated, and the overall writing will keep you hooked.

Furthermore, the pros and cons of technology form the core of this narrative. Red Rose examines it from all sides, allowing viewers to introspect once they’re done watching.

The show’s visual aesthetic benefits it immensely. The cold and rainy North West England, surrounded by dusky streets and dimly lit buildings, adds to the eerieness.


Despite its mostly well-formed and slow-burn narrative, Red Rose suffers from sensory overload.

The show dabbles in data theft, invasion of privacy, ghosts, demonic exorcisms, mental health, economic conditions, distorted obsessions, and death, among other things. It is in no way badly done but requires a lot to keep up with.

This causes the thrill to feel muted at times as your emotions will have a hard time switching constantly. It is safe to say that Red Rose requires a lot of mental energy to get through despite its brilliance.


Red Rose is a triumph in many ways and promises to deliver an enthralling experience with a lot of food for thought. Be prepared for some thrills, chills, and a whole lot of technological dread.

Red Rose
Red Rose review: Riveting cyber thriller 1

Director: Ramón Salazar, Henry Blake, Lisa Siwe

Date Created: 2023-02-18 14:19

Editor's Rating:

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