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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Roman Polanski's first American film that is adapted from Ira
Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her
offspring is not of this world.The film,entitled Rosemar's
Baby,features Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Maurice Evans,
Sidney Blackmer and Charles Grodin.Farrow plays a pregnant woman who
fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric
neighbors, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as
a human sacrifice in their occult rituals in exchange for success in
his acting career.
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband, Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, Guy starts spending time with the Castevets. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Minnie starts showing up with homemade chocolate mousse for Rosemary. When Rosemary becomes pregnant after a mousse-provoked nightmare of being raped by a beast, the Castevets take a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castevets' circle is not what it seems. The diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth, and the baby is taken away from her.
This is a frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon.In addition to that,Polanski's camera-work and Richard Sylbert's production design transform the realistic setting into a sinister projection of Rosemary's fears, chillingly locating supernatural horror in the familiar by leaving the most grotesque frights to the viewer's imagination. Having escaped the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust in Poland by the skin of his teeth, Mr. Polanski was well equipped psychologically to re- imagine what was, before Rosemary's Baby, a B-picture genre into an A- picture genre.And four decades later,his supremely mounted horror thriller holds up extremely well.
Moving into a lavish apartment complex, a woman becomes increasingly
concerned of the elderly residents' concern of her after becoming
pregnant and gradually uncovers a sinister plot to offer her unborn
baby to their devilsh master.
This here manages to be one of the enjoyable and entertaining classic horror efforts around. With the only real problem within being a languished pace that really draws the running time up and make it far longer than it really needs to be, there's a lot to like here. One of the best aspects utilized here is the slow-burn pacing that runs through here as the events wind themselves around her entire pregnancy and that allows for the gradual unraveling of the clues, from the older couples constant interference in their daily lives and offering pregnancy tips and advice, the constant rebuttals of anything she feels as out-of-the-ordinary being commonplace and finally the gag with the name really cluing in the final act. While none of this is really centered around a series of jolts or shocks or even anything creepy beyond the hallucinogenic impregnation, that this really remains watchable as nothing happens is a strong suit of the film and really works quite well in keeping this one interesting. Of course, the finally is all sorts of creepy and chilling, giving this another solid point about it and really generating a lot of excitement about it, making it one of the more rewarding experiences around.
Today's Rating-R: Violence, Nudity, Language and a drug-laced Rape scene.
Rosemary's Baby, unlike the vast majority of horror films, remains
decades after its release as terrifying and unnerving as it must have
been when it was first shown to audiences. This is due mainly to
writer/director Roman Polanski and the universally believable and
creepy performances of the cast. Having never read the book, what
becomes apparent almost immediately is the overwhelming sense of dread
hanging over these characters, despite the fact that the story starts
out so innocently.
Being Polanski's first Hollywood film, it remains astonishing how in control and consistent his direction of this film is. Never straining for cheap thrills or exploitative emotions, Polanski shows here why he is to be considered among the best of directors. Each shot sets up what will happen next and the screenplay does not create a situation in which he characters are acted upon by the impersonal force of the plot. Rather, it is the characters who inject the plot with occurrences, making the end result that much more believable and unsettling.
As for the performances, Mia Farrow may never have found as iconic a role as she did with Rosemary Woodhouse the sweet, innocent, somewhat naive but very observant and intelligent young housewife who finds herself caught up in situations beyond her control. We empathize with her because her motivations are pure and she is as likable as a screen character can be. This is offset by the warmly creepy presence of the Castevets, played brilliantly by Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer. Even John Cassavetes, better known today as America's first independent filmmaker, gives a quietly disturbing performance as the loving husband who turns out to be something we could not imagine.
Over forty years after its release, Rosemary's Baby continues to send chills up the spine and remains a watershed in horror film history. It needs no special effects or ugly creatures to inspire dread and fear. It does this the old-fashioned way: acting and direction.
The stylish, ambitious, chaotic mess of 1965's Repulsion was condensed
to its purest form in Rosemary's Baby, Polanski's first real
masterpiece and, along with Chinatown, his most memorable work.
Rosemary's Baby took some cues from Hitchcock's work, but by its own
right it revolutionized horror cinema, and had a huge part in inspiring
classics from Jaws to The Shining and The Thing - films that took to
heart the lesson that nothing is scarier than nothing, and maintain
tension and terror throughout with very little actually happening.
Partly thanks to the film's minimalistic nature (most of it takes place in one apartment, not unlike Repulsion) and the refusal to rely on special effects, and partly thanks to Polanski's inspired directorial work, Rosemary's Baby stood the test of time better than any horror film of its time - indeed, better than most films of the 60's. Young viewers more accustomed to slasher horror may scoff at how little happens, but once you start watching the feeling of terror and discomfort grows and it's impossible not to be taken in, especially if you've anywhere near the protagonists' age. Mya Farrow and John Cassavetes are terrific in the leads, probably delivering the most powerful performances in their careers; and their show is nearly stolen by the irritating, charming, creepy, lovable Ruth Gordon (who won a very deserved Oscar for her part).
Very few films are as timeless as Rosemary's Baby, and few are as absorbing and effective. A must-see for every film lover.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" is a truly gripping tale into that does everything a classic horror movie should do. Forgoing excessive blood and cheesy monster costumes, the film builds up slowly and subtly to the point where any film-goer would be filled to the brim with tension and fear for what is next to come. After multiple viewings, little subtleties become absurdly visible, such as the recurring color of red or the blatant ignorance of Rosemary as she is manipulated by the wills of all those around her. All in all, this is a genuinely horrifying masterpiece that should not be missed (with an exception for the faint of heart).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is down right creepy, which makes it an achievement. I did not think movies of this era could be so creepy (code or no code). Mia farrow does an amazing job in such a demanding role. You can see her change over the course of the film from a happy newlywed to a scared, paranoid basket case. It is incredible. You just feel worse and worse for this poor women as everything around her falls to pieces. Her husband goes behind her back but at the same time forces her into doing things she does not, the old neighbors manipulate her and almost everyone that is helpful to the poor girl commits suicide or dies. Leading up to the worst part of all, giving birth to the son of Satan!
Rosemary's Baby (1968) Film Review
Rosemary's baby is really amazing, frightening and so beautiful. I think this movie is really burrow deep in one's psyche. One can easily feel all the events in the film. The film has a potential to require me to use a night light.
Roman Polanski made his American directorial debut with this wonderfully sinister film. The first hour feels like a French New Wave movie in the vein of Godard's Breathless. There's definitely a European sensibility to Polanski's direction which is understandable.
Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes play young newlyweds who move into a Gothic apartment in New York previously inhabited by an old woman who recently died. Down the hall live an strange elderly couple who befriend their young neighbors. They seem like good intentions. One night, Rosemary has a nightmare in which she is raped by the devil himself. Upon waking up, she realizes that her husband was having marital relations with her at the moment she was dreaming.
Soon after she learns of her pregnancy. Her husband has conveniently found success as an actor. Rosemary continually feels sharp pain. Eventually, with the goading of a recently deceased friend of hers, Rosemary begins to distrust everyone around her, including her husband, her neighbors and her doctor. Perhaps she's suffering from pericardium delusions, or maybe there is a palpable evil that's always nearby.
Mia Farrow, who was known to most at the time as Mrs. Frank Sinatra, gives an amazing performance in a really difficult role. She must be likable, yet cold and distant all at once. For much of the film, Rosemary suffers quite a bit while maintaining a cool demeanor. The final scene, especially, is so over the top that I can't even begin to imagine how Farrow was able to find her motivations. The supporting cast, including Gordon who's always fun to watch on screen even if she really can only play one type of character, does fine work, especially cinema verity pioneer director Cassavetes.
There are a handful of moments that are a bit too contrived to work, so the movie isn't quite a masterpiece. The whole sequence with the anagram from the book makes little sense. Further, Rosemary transitions from slightly anxious to appearing downright psychotic perhaps a little too quickly. The aforementioned climactic sequence goes down as one of the wackiest ever while proving profoundly unsettling at the same time. Perhaps it might have been even better if everything at the end wasn't so staged. The New Wave style is abandoned during the final act when the horror takes full effect, which does invite the viewer to disconnect slightly. If even these freakish moments had been played straightforwardly, the film as a whole might have proved even scarier than it ended up.
Rosemary's Baby isn't just about the ridiculously impossible. It's also a scary metaphor for motherhood. Having never been pregnant myself, I can only begin to imagine the anxieties that go along with bringing another human life to term. It would only be natural to wonder if one's baby is going to be healthy, and what kind of person that baby will grow up to be. Rosemary's horror is shared by all mothers in many different ways. The responsibilities that go along with parenting are enough to make people think twice about having children in the first place. Of course, the decision Rosemary must tackle at the end of the film is beyond any mother's worst fantasies. Still, though, having children can be, among other things, horrifying.
A palpable fear of Satan having tangible power in this world is an irrational one, and yet, as a cinematic theme, it's still as in vogue as it was back in the late 60's and early 70's with films like The Last Exorcism and the upcoming film Priest. Maybe it's the idea of evil itself actually able to reason independently, much like humans, that really gets to people. Rosemary's Baby won't force me to sleep with my light on tonight, but it does make me hope that my dreaming remains at a minimum for quite a while. Also, it might be a good idea for me to take a home pregnancy test, you know, just to be safe.
Rosemary's Baby is a true genre classic.Undoubtedly, this film is certainly one of the best horror/suspense films ever made. As a horror fan I thought I was missing out on a lot by not having seen this, and I was right.Expectations were high and this one lived up to them.This movie is an example of the horror genre done right; there are spine-chilling moments, satanic images and horror themes that will stay with you forever. The editing in these parts is very impressive as well, creating visual illusions without special effects. It also contains some of the damned finest performances a horror film has ever seen.Mia Farrow was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance, and quite rightly so.Farrow's portrayal of the helpless mother desperately seeking to protect her unborn child is powerfully emotional. Ruth Gordon also put in a splendid performance as the creepy character of Minnie.This is a masterpiece of horror. Everyday situations have an undercurrent of evil. These skillfully hid details haunt the viewer. An odd closet, a suicide, her neighbors' extreme interest As the date of birth gets closer, the film grows increasingly claustrophobic. The development of the plot gets interrupted abruptly in the last scenes, when the intrigue is revealed.The story builds a nice conspiracy well and sustains a real creepy atmosphere all the way through to good effect.Farrow is suitable unbalanced and we feel her fear and suspicion growing during the film. Her performance is really good and the fact that she manages to balance her own doubt for most of the film is very effective.The music is also very memorable and creepy.Overall, this is a perfect adaptation of Ira Levin's book, Rosemary's Baby remains today one of the best horror movies, not for its use of gore, but for its use of tension and surprise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie at the listening and pronunciation lesson. When I watched the beginning of the film I disappointed because the first forty-five minutes or so seem fairly normal and conventional. There isn't any interesting things . The story follows a happily married couple, Rosemary and a struggling actor Guy, looking for a new apartment. They find a very nice and large apartment that fits them perfectly well but has a rather disturbing history (And how many times have we seen that in movies?). Very soon they meet their new elderly neighbors. Minnie and Roman that seem very friendly, may be a bit too friendly. Soon, Rosemary gets pregnant and the couple celebrates this happening with their dear neighbors that are eager to take very good care of Rosemary and help her out as much as they can. They even talk Rosemary into seeing a doctor of their choosing. She starts to have strange dreams and soon she becomes very suspicious of her neighbors and their "helping" with the baby. Rosemary and Guy moved a new apartment where some bad things had happened. They wanted to have a baby. Everything begins with rosemary's pregnancy. She becomes alone, helpless, and trapped in her fears .Until the end, we don't know if her suspicions are valid. The main event seems to be the ending. She learns her baby is from Satan. Her husband and neighbors cheated her. In my opinion, this film is different. It isn't quite like any film I have ever seen. It is on the top horror films list but it wasn't scary for me.I think it is a drama instead of a horror.I was affected by Rosemary's physical appearance and also her psychology. At some point you feel pity about her. Even though it finished up with sadness. If one ask me about this movie, I strongly advise it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rosemary's Baby I watched this movie one month at the listening and pronunciation lesson with my friends in school. While I was watching this movie, at the first I found it very boring. It was boring because in the film ordinary things were happening. For example; Rosemary and her husband were searching home, and when they found home, they moved there. When they moved there, Rosemary met with one woman, who killed herself by jumping from the window, in laundry. After that, Rosemary met with her new old neighbors. These old neighbors were the people, living with woman who committed suicide. Like every couples, Rosemary and her husband wanted to have a baby. And finally Rosemary became a pregnant. These things were ordinary according to me. However, later film began to become interesting. It was interesting especially while Rosemary began to realize some facts about her husband, her neighbors and her doctor. The facts were that her husband, neighbors, and doctor were Satan or witches. She realized that facts with the help of Hutch. Hutch was Rosemary's and her husband's friend. In order to help Rosemary about this issue, Dutch gave a book to Rosemary about witches. However, this book did not given directly by Hutch, it was given by Hutch's friend because Hutch was died. And Rosemary read this book. While reading this book which was about the witches, she found some information about her neighbors. She said these information to her husband but her husband acted as if he had not believed her and without saying anything to Rosemary, he threw away this book. Because if Rosemary had attended to read this book, she would have understand the facts about them. However, later Rosemary bought another book which was like thrown book. And she read this book. And she understood that her husband, neighbors, and her old doctor who was advised by her neighbor were witches. I think this understanding process was interesting and very excited. And after all these things, Rosemary had a baby. However, they said to Rosemary that her baby was died. Firstly Rosemary believed that but later she did not believe. And she went one room which was full of Satan. And after she had gone to there, she both became sure about her husband, neighbors, doctor were Satan and learned that her baby did not die. This part is frustrating. Later she looked at her baby and she saw that her baby's eyes disgusting! I think that this was upsetting especially for the mother. And I think the film ended up in sadness. Finally, I think about the movie, at the beginning it was boring but later it became interesting, enjoyable, exciting. And later it became frustrating. And and and it finished up with sadness. And if one ask me about this movie, I strongly advise it.
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