Rosemary’s BabyFeature Film | Roman Polanski By Eric Schneider
There are plots against people, aren't there?
Restraint isn't a word commonly associated with horror, but it's one of the key reasons that Rosemary's Baby is a chilling cinema classic. Based on the hit novel by Ira Levin, the 1968 film was Roman Polanski's first Hollywood movie, and he used the opportunity to create a mesmerizing tale fueled by subtly sinister slow-burning energy. After moving into Manhattan's storied Bramford apartment building with her self-centered actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), lovely young Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) feels increasing unease, especially when their outgoing older neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon, respectively) become a regular presence in their lives. Rosemary begins to suspect that the Castevets are part of a witch coven--and, of course, she's absolutely right.
Blackmer and the incomparable Gordon are wonderfully casual and charismatic in their roles, making their characters' dark designs that much more unnerving. Meanwhile Farrow anchors the entire film with her slight frame and expressive face, her mix of physical frailty and emotional strength establishing her as an unforgettable lead, particularly once she becomes a protective and understandably paranoid mother-to-be. Very little of what is actually seen in Rosemary's Baby is frightening, but Polanski masterfully sets up a growing sense of dread that makes the most seemingly mundane moments thoroughly unsettling.
|Rosemary's Baby trailer|