Sunday, October 24, 2010

31 Nights of Horror - Night Twenty-Four: Rosemary's Baby (1968)


Roman Pulanski directed this little movie called Rosemary's Baby back in the late 60's. For that...he will forever be etched into the dark recesses of my brain. I would label Pulanski a genius based on this film alone. I've seen some of his other films but, this one stands as an important entry into the horror film genre. My personal favorite genre. It's a film of great brooding fear.

The film stars the lovely Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse a fragile young woman who moves into a big apartment building with her irritating douchebag husband, played by the late and great John Cassavetes. The performances are impeccable and the directing is flawless. When the satanists show up you are already so engrossed in the film...the Satan worshippers are more of a side story rather than the usual horror movie gimmick.


Rosemary's Baby is about a young couple who move into a mysterious Manhattan apartment building with strange neighbors and even stranger occurrences. One night Rosemary has a horrific nightmare of banging a demon and wakes up pregnant. It turns out the neighbors have plans for the spawn of Satan.

The film doesn't have any gore. It doesn't have much violence and it doesn't ever show the "boogie man" at the end. What the film does have is an enormous amount of atmosphere and a good sense of story-telling. Polanski does an expert job of navigating the entire film based on mood and imagination alone. You are merely meant to infer certain things....the film doesn't ever hold your hand and mock your intelligence. It is a horror film based in your own thoughts and fears. It plants its seeds inside you and by the time the film is over you are left breathless with intent rather than actual content.


Rosemary's Baby is the kind of horror film that you will think about for a very long time. It goes deeper than your serial killers and your ghosts. It's a pioneer in its class and sets the bar for films that came afterward. One such film I will talk about much later involving the devil once again. But, it's the reason films like The House of the Devil exist. A story filled with depth permeating tension and dread all the way through the end. Unfortunately, The House of the Devil sort of blatantly shoots off its moneyshot all over your face in the end and leaves feeling kind of empty....while Rosemary's Baby leaves you with your jaw dropped feeling emotions for all of the characters in the film...especially Rosemary.

I absolutely love Rosemary's Baby and hope you will, too. If you haven't seen this masterpiece then it is an absolute must watch this Halloween season. Seriously, you are robbing yourself of such a rich and textured experience into the macabre.


5 out of 5




Thanks for reading,




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