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Rosemary's Baby


I have been thinking about writing a review for some time and today I decided to go for it.
I would be very thankfull with your feedback and constructive criticism!

I chose Rosemary's Baby (1968) directed by Roman Polansky.



Rosemary's Baby is a gruesome and intense story adapted for the big screen by the Polish director Roman Polanski, from the novel with the same name by Ira Levin. Although it does not contain the elements that traditionally compose a horror movie (blood, sudden shock-moments, etc.) this film is a masterpiece of its genre because it does not depend on these same elements to create a truly frightening and unsettling atmosphere.

Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) are a young couple facing a promising life together. Guy is an actor looking for his big break and Rosemary longs to be a mother. The two just moved into an apartment in the heart of Manhattan where they have as neighbors Roman (Sydney Blackmer) and Minnie Castavet (Ruth Gordon), a caring but nosy elderly couple. Guy develops a close relationship to his neighbors while his wife does not feel very comfortable around them.
Finally, Rosemary’s much desired pregnancy happens but brings unexpected complications: the young woman begins to lose weight and to feel excruciating pains in her stomach.
A series of unusual events, strange noises coming from the apartment next door and a strange obsession revealed by Minnie for her pregnancy, lead Rosemary to a state of complete distrust on those around her and fear for the baby that she’s carrying.

This whole storyline is framed perfectly by Polanski. The unsettling and gloomy atmosphere present throughout the film is immediately introduced by the strange lullaby sung by Mia Farrow during the opening credits.
The architecture, decoration and lightning of the settings create in the viewer a constant sense of claustrophobia and the confusing succession of screenshots in some moments - particularly during the odd nightmare of Rosemary - implement in the public an almost asphyxiating feeling of anxiety that lasts for several hours after the end of the movie.
In general, all the actors are very convincing in their roles and contribute a lot in creating a great familiarity between the viewer and the scene. However, there are two representations that stand out: Mia Farrow is brilliant in the role of the innocent young pregnant woman, fragile and submissive, personality to which his avant-garde pixie hair cut offers an interesting counterpoint, and Ruth Gordon offers a sublime interpretation of the comic yet sinister Minnie Castavet.
Roman Polanski leads the suspense masterfully, revealing the whole plot progressively, creating a very intimate connection between the viewer and the main character. This turns to be particularly brilliant when, instead of ending the film with some unexpected and shocking happening, he chooses a predictable but inevitable conclusion, as if we all knew bad things were meant to happen and there was no way out. This makes the story even scarier.

Personally, I don’t like to feel anxious and scared, so to say that I have suffered every second of this film is the best thing I can say about it. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of horror cinema and a must for all lovers of the genre.