Wednesday, October 19, 2005

31 Days of Des' Horror Favourites: #13 Rosemary's Baby

Why I like it: Charles called it. Here you go Charles. You had to know that some kind of dalliance with the devil had to show up in this list and 1968's Rosemary's Baby is it.

Its director Roman Polanski's first American film and one of his best. It's adapted from an equally wonderful novel of the same name by Ira Levin. Oddly enough Polanski's wife was murdered a year later by the Manson Family: another little cult.

In it, a young couple of newlyweds move to an apartment building in New York to begin their lives together. Not long after they move in a friend tells them of the building's bad reputation for witchcraft and cannibalism.

Soon enough chanting is heard through the walls and a neighbour's suicidal jump from a high window confirms that things aren't quite hunky dory. The dead woman's roommates (an elderly couple living in the building) explain her depression and fear that this was inevitable.

That night Rosemary (my all-time favourite role for an actress performed by the awesome Mia Farrow fresh off a divorce from Frank Sinatra and soon to marry Woody Allen-giving us reason to question her sanity) begins to hallucinate about her bad experiences at Catholic school. This is only furthered by an incendiery anti-Pope remark over dinner by their neighbours (the roommates of the ill-fated suicide).

Rosemary's husband Guy gets an acting job and begins to become withdrawn, vain and self-centered. Good time to decide to get pregnant right? Wrong.

She is drugged and then surrounded by Satanic cultists led by their neighbours as Guy rapes her while turning into the Devil. Whoa!

What follows is a film that my wife most certainly should not watch. Playing on the fears involved with pregnancy Rosemary gets paranoid. She starts losing weight (not a good thing in pregnancy I'm told)

Through a series of several deductions she figures out the nasty pastime of her neighbours and everyone begins to think she's gone insane. She wakes up from giving birth to find her baby is gone and accuses everybody of being baby-stealing witches. When she finally sees the baby my favourite line in a horror movie is uttered by Rosemary:
What have you done to it? What have you done to its eyes?

I like it because it doesn't hammer you over the head with the devil and you are never actually sure whether or not to believe Rosemary. Is she a little wacko? Whether or not she is the ending is fantastic. The lullaby that turn into the theme music is beautiful at the beginning and haunting by the end.

Check these out:
-The Exorcist-A decent horror film owing much to Rosemary's Baby
-The Prince of Darkness-Carpenter directs Donald Pleasance fighting Satan...from spaaaaaace!
-The Omen-More child of the Devil goodness.
-Twin Peaks-Bob is the Devil folks! Believe it!

2 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

Blogger Kim said...

Des I'm loving your list so far! It's opened up my eyes to how many movies I've never seen! I'm too embarrassed to tell you how many movies from your list I've never watched, so don't even ask! I'm going to be borrowing movies from Charles very soon . . .

1:59 am  
Blogger Des said...

Good idea, Kim. Charles has some good taste in horror films. He even predicted this entry in the list yesterday.

4:30 am  

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