Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby ★★★★

I have avoided this movie for most of my life for a variety of different reasons. Firstly, it was after learning about Polanski’s past (he reportedly drugged and raped a 13 year-old girl). Then it was because of the ugly Mia Farrow-Woody Allen breakup (it sounds so much worse now). Then to be honest, I just gave up on it. I didn’t know it was a horror movie. I thought it was a drama that looked dated. 

Boy was I wrong. If ever there was a prime example of don’t judge a movie by it’s title, then I guess it’s this one. There are startling connections between this film and “Hereditary”. The difference between the two movies is by and large, ambiguity.

Director Roman Polanski does not go into graphic violence or openly sinister intentions. There is nudity and a spliced up sex scene that will seem tame by today’s standards. It’s all in the details and if you’re observant, you can explain exactly how the story goes and why. There is a tremendous amount that you could pick up upon repeated viewings.

The story, based upon the novel of the same name sees a young couple, Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary (Mia Farrow) move into a New York apartment where their neighbors are not what they seem. Within a few months, Rosemary becomes pregnant but worries about the safety of her baby as she suspects that the people around her want her baby.

Credit where credit is due, Polanski does an outstanding job in laying out the detailed story in a way as to appear menacing without making the menace appear visibly. Apparently he shot 4 hours of film and then didn’t know what to cut from the film so he left it to his editor. The editor did a masterful job and was rewarded by being made director of the 1976 sequel, “Look what’s happened to Rosemary’s Baby”.

Mia Farrow is excellent as a young innocent wife who undergoes a series of punishing states as she battles to comprehend what may be happening around her. Ruth Gordon is amazing as the nosy and controlling next door neighbor, Minnie. John Cassavetes is pretty much unlikeable from go to woe and apparently he and Polanski feuded often on set while making the film. 

This is O.G. set the bar for many future horror films dealing with occult themes. I was thoroughly impressed with what Polanski accomplished with this film in 1968. Not matter what you may think of him personally, there is no denying that this film is a must-see for any horror fan.

Block or Report