Horror films have existed since the early days of cinema. Today’s review in Halloween Horror is of an older film, which was released in 1968: “Rosemary’s Baby.” This movie is based on a novel by Ira Levin. Because of the widespread popularity of the book, the film was embraced by many who would not have considered themselves horror fans.
In it, Mia Farrow plays Rosemary Woodhouse, the young wife of a struggling actor, Guy Woodhouse (played by John Cassavetes). They have been trying unsuccessfully to start a family. When they move into a new apartment, they befriend an elderly couple (played by Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer). Soon after, Rosemary gets pregnant and is very excited. But she slowly begins to suspect that her pregnancy is not normal. She starts to suspect that her neighbors are Satan worshippers.
This movie is very creepy. It was one of the first films directed by Roman Polanski, whose work is known for being very dark. One of the most effective scenes in the film is a dream that Rosemary has shortly before she learns of her pregnancy. This dream is disturbing because it shows Rosemary being raped. Even though modern audiences are more accustomed to sexual assault scenes, Polanski’s rendition of the attack on Rosemary still packs a punch. The ending of the movie is equally scary.
Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award for her masterful work in the film. Although she is very good, the best performance is by Mia Farrow. She shows Rosemary is a somewhat naïve woman who slowly becomes more aware of the grim situation she is in.
Older horror movies are often better or just as good as more recent ones. “Rosemary’s Baby” is a great example of this. It is a must see for any fan of horror films or anyone who enjoys first-rate storytelling.