Rosemary’s Baby is Throwin’ Up the Horns

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary’s Baby comes from a tiny, self-generated time period where Satanic horror flicks were considered pretty in-fashion and thus deserved a nice cast and crew. It tells a tale of an innocent Catholic girl who moves into an apartment with a dark past, and slowly descends into a conspiracy against God and humanity. That sounds pretty epic, I’m sure, but the story progresses cautiously, giving you time to notice the oddities and signs that lead to the Devil. I like the acting, I like the setting, I like the film. Let’s roll.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are a young married couple looking to rent an apartment in Manhattan. Guy’s looking to secure a better career as an actor, but his luck isn’t doing much for him. Rosemary’s a child of strict Catholic upbringing, estranged from her parents due to their detesting Guy’s mixed Jewish/Protestant upbringing. She is satisfied to be a housewife to her husband.

Rosemary's BabyGuy’s career takes off when his rival suddenly goes blind, a very spontaneous misfortune indeed. With his future growing brighter, he decides to ask Rosemary to have a baby. Hence the movie’s title. Apparently having had studies Rosemary’s ovulation cycle, he holds a “baby night.” On that very night, Minnie Castevet, an older woman met earlier on, brings over a chocolate mousse for the two to eat. Rosemary doesn’t like it because of a chalky undertaste, and Guy gets pissy at her for being ungrateful. She eats what she can and dumps the rest.

Enter the dream sequence. You see a lot of things here, like the Pope, Rosemary sans some clothes, a Satanic ritual, and Satan getting funky with the poor, drugged lass, and a bunch of old yet familiar people standing around and watching. One could infer that the perceived events are false, but this is a Satanic horror movie. Anything that would make the main character look “crazy” is obviously real.

The pregnancy doesn’t go well. Rosemary experiences excruciating pains, but her doctor (recommended to her by Roman and Minnie Castevet, their nosy neighbors) says that it is normal. Fearing for her baby’s well-being, she invites a bunch of her young friends over for a small party to get their opinions on the matter. They immediately show concern and practically order Rosemary to stop seeing the quack and get a second opinion. Once the party is over, Guy is particularly vehement that Rosemary sticks with her current doctor. Right as she’s about to shout him into a corner, the pain stops.

Rosemary's BabyIt isn’t quite all well and good from that point, though. Signs of a Satanic cult begin to pop up, centering around a strange book that hints at a plethora of anagrams. Suddenly, Roman Castevet’s name begins to ring quite a different bell. But I’d rather not spoil the end of the movie for you.

After doing a bit of reading on the film, the entire plot could very well be an analogy for Rosemary’s discomfort with marrying a man who wasn’t Catholic born and raised. Think about that. Marrying a Jewish/Protestant man to a very devout Catholic might make her associate him with the Devil. But that’s just fan speculation, so don’t put too much faith in it. No pun intended.

Drew Morton of Pajiba points out that Rosemary’s Baby is more of a religious psychological thriller than a horror movie, since elements like visual terror and startle factor are completely absent. As it were, the film itself is almost a word-by-word cinematic adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ira Levin. Very rarely do you see such fantastic book to movie transitions, so even if you haven’t read the book, Rosemary’s Baby is probably worth the watch. And, as I mentioned, Mia Farrow is cute as hell. Gander hither: