Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby ★★★★½

Rosemary’s Baby, the quiet horror film, takes you on a journey of the tense and the terrifying. 

Although the story seemingly begins as a kitchen sink drama, we are soon taken in the opposite direction when a malevolent force enters Rosemary’s ‘perfect life’. Everything is set up to be great for Rosemary: her husband is gaining success as an actor and she’s moved into a beautiful new apartment with lovely neighbours. The audience is well aware that things can’t stay this good for long. 

What makes Rosemary’s Baby a masterpiece of its genre is its use of subtext and tension. We only really have one scene of actual horror and even that is presented to us in brief flashes. We instead are given information that we piece together ourselves, it is what we do not see that is terrifying. This subversion is especially effective because of a fantastic screenplay and the outstanding performance of Mia Farrow. We are truly in the dark, as she is, slowly coming to realise the horror that has been forced upon her. It’s a terrifying concept because of the lack of control Rosemary has. Something pure has been taken for her, corrupted by a malevolent force and forced upon her by those closest to her. 

Rosemary’s Baby is more overtly psychological than it is supernatural, but the supernatural acts as a strong undercurrent that looms subtly in the background, in the darkness. This debatably makes it more scary than more stereotypical horror films of the supernatural.  

This film is a classic for a reason and I’m so happy to have finally seen it, even though I knew what happened I still managed to feel the effect which shows a great great film.

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