The excitement of a new housing situation seems to happen to me every year. For one reason or another, I haven’t stayed in one place for more than two years ever since I left home. But I still get excited. I think that this time it is going to be different. I am going to be a different person. I am going to be a person who is best friends with my neighbors, has the best parties, and decorates my house with just the right furniture and knick knacks. For Rosemary, a new apartment meant having enough space with her husband to have a baby. It meant a new life for her and her actor husband. But because this is a horror film, not everything is as it seems. For poor Rosemary this means that her marriage and her pregnancy is not what it seems.
There always seems to be rip offs of this film that come out every year. A woman who wants nothing more than to have a normal family gets her dreams dashed by her haunted house, her neighbors, or her demon children. But they don’t seem to be as effective as Rosemary’s Baby was for me. I think it is because the other films try to hide from you all of the facts of the situation in order to build suspense. Whereas Polanski shows his cards about halfway through the film. You, as the viewer, are about ninety percent sure that what she is carrying is not human. But there is nothing that Rosemary can do about it and therefore there is nothing the viewer can do about it either. The march to inevitability is what scariest about this film. No matter how many times she seeks out help or tries to get away, those sinister neighbors and/or her husband is on her trail. And yet you want so badly for the doctor to believer her, for her friend to wake up from a coma, or for her to find some hidden way out. You keep telling yourself that against all of the evidence present, she doesn’t really have the spawn of Satan in her. There is just no way. Your reasonable brain rebels against it, it just isn’t possible. But SPOILERS your worse fears for her were right all along.
Mia Farrow does a great job here as Rosemary. Her ability to show her vulnerability for everyone to see is what makes this character worth rooting for. Her performance is just so visceral. She is Rosemary in a way. The sinister neighbors are also quite amazing. The insistence of being apart of your life even though you clearly don’t want them to be, the politeness that barely hides their sinister natures, and their outright gaudiness in their taste makes them seem like they are more than just neighbors, but in fact relatives. The only person I had a problem with (and I see this repeated in several reviews on line of this film) was John Cassavetes as the husband. He just sort of sits there on screen. I guess the man who is able to give over to a cult quickly is not the most dynamic.
This film is one of the rare films that I plan to revisit soon. It really captivated me in a way that I think will lend itself to endless re-watches. If you haven’t seen this film, I would suggest that you check it out. You may not want to talk to your neighbors ever again.