Pray for Rosemary’s Baby…
Rosemary’s Baby is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. A tale of Satanism and pregnancy dripping with atmosphere, Roman Polanski’s masterpiece of horror maintains a subtle creepiness throughout the majority of its 136 minute runtime.
The film may take some time to get into its main plot, and sure, it’s clear early on that the child is most definitely demonspawn, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? Rosemary’s Baby is consistently entertaining, thanks to brilliant performances from the cast at large, and one stand-out, Oscar-winning turn from Ruth Gordon as odd, yet loveable Satanist Minnie Castevet.
The film is truly a showcase for Mia Farrow’s acting abilities, however, and she is fantastic in the leading role of Rosemary, charming, yet dangerously naïve. She’s a strong, independent character, though still cowed by societal standards of the time. John Cassavetes is also great as her husband, the somewhat selfish starving-artist-turned-Satanist Guy. The rest of the supporting cast, particularly Maurice Evans (Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes), are phenomenal as well.
The film tackles heavy themes with tact and grace, serving as a commentary on the innate trust placed in well-known/high class doctors, as well as the ills of homeopathic medicine (the mysterious, nonexistent Tannis root), and the dangers of cultism.
The film is notable for featuring one of Hollywood’s few dark endings, an effectively terrifying one which caps off the film brilliantly. I’m not going to directly spoil it, even though the film is nearly 50 years of age. I’m not rude.
All in all, Rosemary’s Baby is a highly effective piece of 1960’s horror cinema, representing the transition into the taboo-laden, loosely-censored horror cinema of the 1970’s, laying the groundwork for classics to come. A mood piece that effectively terrifies audiences even today, Rosemary’s Baby earns an A+.