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kaffy's avatar


The true dread and horror of this movie comes from the lack of autonomy some women experienced while pregnant. So many of Rosemary's choices are taken out of her hands by her domineering husband, a parade of crones whose knowledge is assumed by merit of their age, and her doctor of course, all in the name of "what's best for her." Watching a woman say yes to what she knows is wrong in her heart because refusing or contacting the outside world is simply not an option is about as scary as it gets for me.
10 years ago
Timec's avatar


poiatica - Hey, poiatica, your criticisms are idiotic.

"And the whole, I had sex with you while you were sleeping... Hey, Roman Polansky, have you heard of conjugal rape"

Hey, poiatica, do you know anything about the history of laws regarding conjugal rape? Up until very recently (as in the past 20 or 30 years), "conjugal rape" wasn't even a recognized crime in many places in the world, including much of the United States - it was generally believed that the husband had the "right" to have sex with his wife at any time. And even if it was already a law in New York in 1968, there would still have been a lot of women unwilling to prosecute their husbands for it (that's still a problem to this day.)

Besides all that, your "criticism" is made even more nonsensical by the fact that the sleep rape scene is presently as something that is clearly supposed to be frightening and twisted, and it clearly unsettles Rosemary herself. In other words, Polanski, though he is a creep and a rapist, definitely isn't using this film to condone drugging one's wife and then having sex with her (or allowing someone else to rape her.)

Your "argument" that the scene is evidence of Polanski's twisted mind, his creepiness, and his inability to distinguish rape from consensual sex is further demolished by the fact that this scene is not an invention of that "sexist jackass" at all - rather, it's taken very directly from Levin's novel (and there's no prosecution for "conjugal rape" in that one either.)

Even your claim of the film's sexism is rather dubious. Rosemary is naive, yes (but not any moreso than the female and male protagonists of lots of other horror films) - but after all, the full story of what has happened to her is so twisted that it's unlikely anyone would have guessed it. That she figures out as much as she does actually shows her to be quite intelligent.

And in order for claims of sexism to stick, there has to be a gap in the way the men and women are portrayed (men are good and smart, women are dumb and malevolent, etc.) - however, that's not the case with this film. The men and women of the coven are equally conniving and manipulative and evil, and Rosemary's husband is shown to be willing to do anything to have success in his career, even at the expense of others' lives. That's not a positive portrayal of men or women. Additionally, both men and women make up the small group of characters in the film who are good, insightful, and helpful.

Here's the thing: Many valid complaints can be made about the film - yours just aren't among those "valid complaints." You didn't like the film, and that's perfectly fine, but that doesn't mean that every bad thing you can think of to say about must be valid.
12 years 9 months ago
neiba's avatar


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.
9 years 6 months ago
voltesque's avatar


A superb horror. Love the quaint mood of the movie. Wish I could say the same about the ending though.
11 years 5 months ago
Dieguito's avatar


A true horror movie with creepy characters, perfectly executed. I don't know why so many people think horror movies must have serial killers or scary monsters..
11 years 7 months ago
rainy's avatar


The great part of the movie is actually how it makes you wonder if those things are on her mind or really happening.
11 years 8 months ago
Scratch47's avatar


A true masterpiece of horror. Starts as a suspicion in the mind and just builds from there. The finale counts as a serious ersatz mindfuck!
12 years ago
devilsadvocado's avatar


Intelligent horror creates the false illusion of normalcy, with a very subtle, underlying disturbance creeping further and further into the picture as the plot evolves. This film is a near perfect execution of doing just that. My only complaint is that the ending was perhaps a bit too revealing, with some of that profound subtlety then being lost. But I still enjoyed the whole thing. 9/10.

I've included this one in my list of best films from the New Hollywood era.

New Hollywood - The American New Wave
12 years 4 months ago
muahahaha15's avatar


this is quite off topic, but what i liked is that the satanists weren't the traditional goth, dressed in black head to toe type. it was actually quite entertaining how they didn't fit the movie description of it. instead just a friendly old couple, similar to our own grandparents. i found that quite amusing.
12 years 8 months ago
lachyas's avatar


The consensus here seems to be that it wasn't scary, but for me it was one of the most unsettling and disturbing movies I've seen, despite the restrained tone and lack of gore and jump scares. Really extraordinary filmmaking, shame about the overwrought conclusion though.
10 years 3 months ago
TheBanana's avatar


Oh my god, defenestrate it! ROSEMARY, DEFENESTRATE IT!!!
10 years 4 months ago
Warrison's avatar


Loved it. Instant Favourite!
11 years 2 months ago
Oneironaut's avatar


Whilst it didn't scare me, it did evoke a lot of anger because of how evil the characters in this movie were. I wanted to step into the movie and punch them all in the face.

So in some way, the film was a success since it got such a reaction out of me. Tense at times, maybe a little too long, and a conclusion that disappointed me, mainly because I had built up in my mind what Rosemary was going to do, and... she didn't.
12 years 1 month ago
Timec's avatar


On a broader note, I can understand a lot of the criticisms of the film made by people other than poiatica - much of the film does tread a fine line between "creepy" and "ridiculous," and for some the "ridiculous" is going to overwhelm the "creepy." To me, however, that balancing act is one of the reasons I love the film so much - it acknowledges the basic ridiculousness of the premise, but it manages to convince us and creep us out anyway. It maintains a tonal consistency, and ends with the one of the most memorable, most unsettling, and most perfectly executed endings in film history.

But at the same time I can understand why some would have a hard taking it seriously.
12 years 9 months ago
goellnerd's avatar


The scariest part was the patriarchy. Truly terrifying.
3 years 9 months ago

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