Thursday, October 16, 2008

Classic Horror Film - Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary’s Baby, a 1968 film now considered a classic horror movie by many. The file centers on a young couple, Rosemary and Guy, played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes, who move into an apartment building known as the Bramford (filmed at the famous Dakota building in New York) where they seem to be surrounded by neighbours who become friends. Guy is a struggling actor and Rosemary a housewife.

Rosemary is initially warned that the Bramford has a disturbing history, but she and Guy simply laugh over this news, choosing to dismiss it. Early in the film, Rosemary and Guy are befriended by Minnie and Roman Castavet, an elderly couple whose apartment is next to their own. Rosemary finds them pushy and more than a little bit odd, so she is disturbed when Guy begins spending a lot of time with them.

Guy and Rosemary decide to have a child and on the night they plan to try to conceive, Minnie stops by with a special treat - chocolate mousse. Although Rosemary eats only a small portion, she soon begins feeling faint and dreams that she is being raped by a creature, while her elderly neighbors watch. The next morning, Guy tells her that she just had a bad dream and that he had made love to her during the night.

Soon after, she discovers she is pregnant; while at the same time; Guy's acting career takes off. The pregnancy is very difficult at first; Rosemary suffers terrible, ongoing pain. As the months wear on, the pains ease but Rosemary begins to suspect her elderly neighbors are not the kindly souls they appear to be. She soon discovers that her neighbours are leaders of a coven of witches and she convinces herself that they are after her child to use as a sacrifice. Not surprisingly she is not able to convince anyone to believe her.

As the movie draws to its conclusion Rosemary goes into labour, fainting and when she awakens she is told that the baby died shortly after birth. Grief stricken she takes to her bed. However, when she hears a baby’s cries somewhere in the building she suspects her baby is still alive. In the hall closet of her apartment she discovers a secret door leading into her neighbours’ apartment where the coven meets and there she finds them gathered around her baby, worshipping her son, the spawn of Satan. Rosemary considers killing the demon infant but after some coaxing she beings to sing a lullaby to the baby which quiets him.

The file is excellent at conveying all the fears, confusion and hormonal changes that occur for a young expectant mother. Rosemary is overcome with panic and paranoia. The horror of Rosemary’s Baby is found in the happenings that take place on a daily basis in the everyday events that we take for granted. The film exposes human interactions in a disturbing and negative manner. The file ending leaves the audience to draw their own conclusions about the future of Rosemary’s baby.

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