After having ordered and watched 3 of the best Roman Polanski's movies in a row -Chinatown, The tenant, Rosemary's baby- I'm inclined towards putting Rosemary's baby at the same level of Chinatown. Of course they don't have anything to do with each other but the whiff of great cinema is as strong in one as it is in the other. Chinatown went down in the history of cinema as a landmark movie that meant a utter turn-around of the genre both in terms of themes the plot or sub-plots are shaped around and storytelling; however Rosemary's baby doesn't fall short in its attempt of telling a horror story in a new and original way.
To define myself as a expert on Horror films would be nothing short of cockiness, an unnecessary amount of showing this review isn't worthy of having. So, don't worry dear reader, I'll be honest and declare that I'm treading on water when it comes to this genre. There is something I know, though. And that it's when a movie hits you, makes you want to feel what the characters feel and be the characters themselves so to better comprehend what they are going through. The story appears to be quite simple: a young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child takes over her life.
What makes this movies stands out is the way in which is told. Every little piece bit of mystery is carefully given away at the exact moment, which only adds to the viewer's sense of fear and tension. Here there's nothing of a hidden monster that somehow breaks free from his owners and develops a never ending human-driven appetite. That might be the scope of 70 or 80% of movies of the genre; not in this case. What would you rather see: horror/terror only hinted at or a close-up on a horror scene? My choice is clear and I hope yours is too. The tension is so well build up that at times seems as if Polanski was a musical composer conducting an orquestra of seasoned musicians. You, as a viewer, are never let down because the essential ups and downs in tension are masterly handled; never it feels too much to diggest, never it is too low to keep the scrypt from going forward. I guess the comparison is worth elaborating on: the cast is fantastic, namely Mia Farrow as Rosemary. Only she could convey such fragility and determination to keep going through until the very ending of the picture. One that reaps the benefits of having carefully planted across the films "seeds of horror" and of having been able to create a plot that's as luring and riveting as it is crammed with twists and turns. Let me sign off by formulating a question: Is a mother always a mother?
Desirous of starting a family, Rosemary Woodhouse, a young Catholic housewife, and her husband, Guy Woodhouse, a struggling actor, move into the Bramford, a New York building with an unpleasant history of obscure dwellers and ghastly occurrences. Before long, the young couple is befriended by their elderly and somehow eccentric next-door neighbours, Roman and Minnie Castevets, and shortly afterwards, Rosemary finally gets pregnant. However, little by little, as the inexperienced mother becomes systematically cut off from her circle and friends, alarming hints of a well-planned and sinister conspiracy will begin to emerge, enfolding Rosemary in a shroud of suspicion and mental agony. In the end, why is everyone so conveniently eager to help, furthermore, why is Guy allowing this?
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March 12, 2018 at 11:40 PM