Disturbingly twisting the joyous occasion of expectant motherhood, Rosemary’s Baby is a meticulously crafted, albeit light by today’s horror standards, film. 8.5/10.
Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a new building in New York City with a strange reputation. Bizarre neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon) become very friendly with the Woodhouses and when Rosemary finally becomes pregnant after repeatedly trying, odd occurrences start happening until a final dark truth is revealed.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Positives: A bold and unique setting in the big bright city – not normally a horror setting with so many other people taking away the isolation and solidarity, mysterious and intriguing opening and plot set-up moving into the apartment and learning about the past resident and building’s shaky past as well as the girl jumping out the building, good character introductions, strong acting and cast led by star-studded Mia Farrow and Ruth Gold, brisk pacing and incredible direction from writer/director Roman Polanski, horrific idea/concept in having Joe sell himself for his acting career, horrific cult/visions scene – deeply unsettling horror and absolutely disturbing imagery, creates an unnerving dark aura and extreme tension through a previously sacred and even joyous occasion in pregnancy and expecting a baby, fantastic makeup and hair making Rosemary look pale and sickly as the pregnancy wears on, truly disturbing and unbelievable performance by Mia Farrow as bone-thin mother who has no clue what evil is lurking in her baby, great performacnce also by Ruth Gordon as the worst neighbor ever, masterfully exploits the paranoia of unknown neighbors’ motives, set the template for films after about the devil, phenomenal final plot twist with Roman’s anagram, phenomenal and thrilling ending that masterfully and near Hitchcock-ly builds suspense and mystery as Rosemary goes full detective on the baby and figures out the vast extent of the conspiracy as the final truth approaches – a crazy ending twisted in every way
Negatives: Admittedly light-hearted and campy for a horror movie with this dark a premise, some questionable plot decisions like randomly making love on a coverboard & Rosemary accepting the necklace after she saw the last wearer jump 30 stories, 20-30 min too long (could’ve trimmed first act), plot hole in the end as why would Hunt give up Rosemary, copies Hitchcock a lot, ending a little underwhelming as they should’ve shown the baby and left a monumental cliffhanger (what’s next) that will never be answered
Official CLC Score: 8.5/10