I’ve mentioned on this blog, and in comments on other blogs, that every film lover, myself included, has a mental list of those movies that no one would believe they haven’t seen yet; they’re that popular or culturally relevant. I’d always use Alien as my prime example, until I finally knocked that one out for this blog. Well, I got to another one of mine today: Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski’s psychological horror/thriller about a young woman who, after some weird dreams and deteriorating health conditions, becomes convinces her neighbors are witches out to get her baby for their rituals. Quite a few have bandied about the word “masterpiece” when it comes to this film, but after seeing it, I’m not that convinced. Sure, it was a great film, but there was nothing that elevated it above and beyond the rest of the crowd.
Though, like I said, this is still a great film. I’ve gotta say, the opening music did much to get me into the perversely unsettling mood the film draws out through the whole thing. I guess that’s why my expectations were a little let down; I was expecting an overwhelming sense of dread to be hanging heavily in the air with this film, when all that it managed is a constant state of “off-ness”, as if something is wrong but your mind can’t place it. This mostly comes about thanks to the superb casting of Mia Farrow as Rosemary, a young waif who has no idea what is happening to her, but is just human enough to want to put a stop to it. I see a lot of Polanski’s previous film Repulsion in this; they both contain the sense of impending danger or doom, rather than outright scares, and they both are exceedingly well directed.
As much as I liked Rosemary’s Baby, and as much as I especially liked the filmmaking behind it, which was spot on probably 95% of the time, I didn’t really feel I got my money’s worth out of the film. Normally, I’d say that a good film I’ve reviewed here will be worth the time you invest into it, but I honestly can’t see myself saying that about Rosemary’s Baby, and not just because it was longer than I felt it should be. Hopefully, you’ll get more out of it than I did, if you do decide to give this a try (if you haven’t seen it already), but if you don’t, and end up with a somewhat empty feeling, like your needs haven’t been fully satisfied, I can only say that I can sympathize.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10