Rosemary’s Baby

This classic from the disgraced director is a must-see, even for non-horror fans

*Be aware of mild spoilers in the final paragraph’s content warning*

*Be aware of mild spoilers in the final paragraph’s content warning*

In past articles, I’ve reviewed newer horror movies, but the current film I’ll be discussing is a horror classic. Rosemary’s Baby, released in 1968, was written and directed by Roman Polanski and was based off of the novel Rosemary’s Baby, written by Ira Levin. It stars Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse, John Cassavetes as her husband Guy Woodhouse, and Ruth Gordon as their neighbour Minnie Castevet. This was the first first Hollywood production that Polanski directed and was a big success with the box office grossing around 33.4 million USD. This is a highly enjoyed film by many with a rating of 8/10 on IMDb and a rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Written in a review from 1968, Roger Ebert said that “the brilliance of the film comes more from Polanski’s direction” rather than Levin’s writing. The author’s novel is written in such a stylized way that “when the ending comes… it is an altogether unexpected surprise”, whereas in the film (under Polanski’s direction), much of the information is revealed early on so that viewers are given time to speculate about the ending. By the end, viewers can almost completely expect the ending, but it is still just as horrifying.

Couple Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into a new apartment after the previous tenant died while in a coma. Desperate to start their family, they begin to try for a baby. After befriending their older neighbours, Rosemary becomes pregnant with her first child and slowly begins to suspect that her husband, neighbours, and doctor are practicing witchcraft even though everyone around her blames her speculation on her pregnancy brain.

I thought this was an excellent horror movie. Although it was made in the 60s, it will forever be a timeless cult classic. Mia Farrow did a fantastic job in this role and was even nominated for Best Actress in the Golden Globes. The rating I would give this is a 9.5 out of 10. I would definitely recommend this film to new fans of horror who may not be able to digest more horrific films, as it is quite easy on the stomach with close to no gore. One quick content warning: there is an ongoing scene that depicts sexual assault and rape in a dream that Rosemary has, and it is mentioned that Guy admits to raping her while she is unconscious to increase their chances of conception, but this is not shown. In all other aspects it is a great film to watch, horror fan or not. 

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