Thoughts on Rosemary's Baby

Friday, April 30, 2010 9:12 PM By Simon

1) I'm going to say it: in his younger days, Roman Polanski looks like he should be name Rat Spicotti. Or Clamps.

2) This wasn't very scary. I mean, it was creepy and claustrophobic and foreboding and gloomy, and so very atmospheric, as many pre-80s horror films are (I'll probably write as much some other time). But, to me, it was also coated in black comedy. Let's take, for instance, the Big Reveal, the cilmax, when Rosemary discovers the secret door in her closet and, knife desperately clutched in her hand, goes through the hallway into the parlour, where the Satanist celebrate the birth of the Antichrist. They all eventually notice her standing there, and after some half-asses sttempts to convince her to go to bed, she runs to the black-blanketed crib.

Aside: there are very few people who get true horror to translate onto their face (acting wise, that is). Mia Farrow, I think, is one of those people.

She sees her baby for the first time (but we never do), and she screams, and her eyes widen and she is absolutely terrified. And yet, all tension is broken when one of the Satanists, well, I guess this should add to the underlying hopelessness and terror of the situation, but I found this very funny, she coos, "He has his father's eyes." We all know by now that the father is not Guy (John Cassavetes!).

It's just, the entire movie, I can imagine being very startled, but nothing outright scary happens until the very end, the last fifteen minutes, when she is surrounded by the cullen and goes into labor.

3) John Cassavetes is hereby nominated for Pussiest Husband Eva.

4) How awesome is Ruth Gordon? This character should've been annoying, but it wasn't, because she's Ruth Gordon and she rules everything.

5) During the Devil-rape scene, all I could think about was Nicholas Cage wearing a bear suit in The Wicker Man.


Andrew K. said...

Do you know why Ruth Gordon is so awesome? Because she was friends with Katharine Hepburn, that's why!

I too never see this is a horror, just very dark comedy.

May 1, 2010 at 2:50 PM
Runs Like A Gay said...

I've got to disagree, this sort of creeping tension is, to me, the epitome of horror. And essentially a horror about the fear of motherhood, and the growing demon inside (as all babies are).

In context of the late 60's the child also stands in for conformity. Mia and John are essentially a boho couple with no ties who are forced into a twisted middle age by the end.

May 2, 2010 at 9:45 AM
Simon said...

'Tis an interesting point. I see it more as a cautionary tale against urban living, with a dash of 'don't trust old people'.

May 2, 2010 at 4:56 PM