Halloween Horror Bonanza, Episode 2: Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Roman Polanski)

Since I finally saw Rosemary’s Baby for the first time a few days ago, I figured I might as well give it a closer look in today’s episode of Halloween Horror Bonanza.

I think Roger Ebert says it pretty well:  “a brooding, macabre film, filled with the sense of unthinkable danger. Strangely enough it also has an eerie sense of humor almost until the end. It is a creepy film and a crawly film, and a film filled with things that go bump in the night.”

The film is very much of its time (controversy surrounding it and various actors/crew, Mia Farrow’s iconic hairstyle, etc), and has inspired a ton of pop culture references since then. Luckily for me, I managed to somehow avoid almost all of these, and didn’t really know what it was going to be like.

rosemarygasp

There are some fantastic twists and turns, and great acting performances (a very endearing one with some genuinely creepy moments from Mia, while Ruth Gordon – aka Maude from Harold and Maude! – turns in an Oscar-winning performance as Rosemary’s meddlesome, insidious, and garishly attired neighbor).

The movie is scary because of the way it deals with expectations, rather than using explicit horror throughout. A seemingly normal exterior gives way to unthinkable horrors at times in the film, but the dread of it is almost worse. In my opinion, that makes for a much more satisfying horror/thriller film.

Check this movie out, if you haven’t already. I can’t think of another movie I’ve seen that’s really very similar… and at the very least, you can be privy to all those Rosemary’s Baby references at last!

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