An expectant mother becomes increasingly more paranoid about the
safety of her unborn child and the true intentions of her neighbors.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Written and Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon,
Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Charles Grodin
Based on the novel by Ira Levin
Oscar Wins - Best Supporting Actress (Ruth Gordon)
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay
Rosemary's Baby may just be one of the most unnerving and frightening horror movies I've ever seen, mostly because of how much you don't actually see. Polanski clearly believed that less is more, and this film is widely considered his masterpiece. And it's easy to see why. The performances are incredible, the cinematography heightens the paranoia with enclosed spaces and surreal imagery, and the subject matter was extremely taboo for the late 60's. This is a movie about a woman convinced that her baby is going to be stolen by a witch coven that worships the devil. And this was five years before The Exorcist and eight years before The Omen. Rosemary's Baby did it first.
Mia Farrow delivers the performance of her career as Rosemary Woodhouse, an optimistic, lovely young woman who moves into a new apartment building with her husband Guy (John Cassavetes). They become chummy with their elderly neighbors Minnie (Ruth Gordon) and Roman Castavet (Sidney Blackmer), who take an usual amount of interest in Rosemary, especially after she becomes pregnant in one of the weirdest "dream" sequences ever filmed. But Rosemary's pregnancy is unusual, and she becomes increasingly worried. The tension gets turned up little by little as the film progresses, and once Rosemary figures out what's been going the entire time, you become as paranoid as she does, and you start to wonder who exactly you can trust. We never really know our neighbors. The people who live alarmingly close to us could be up to anything, and Polanski plays with this idea in a truly brilliant way.
Rosemary's Baby deserves to be counted among horror's greatest exports. It's a phenomenal glimpse into the worried mind of an expectant mother combined with the dark mysterious of the occult. Is this really happening to her or is she just losing her mind? Who really knows? And I love that at the end, you still don't know if she's snapped or this is her reality now. This is an absolute work of art and I'm so glad I've finally watched it.