Plotline: Rosemary and her husband move into a new place in NYC with strange next-door neighbors. Rosemary quickly becomes pregnant, but something is not quite right with the pregnancy. She becomes convinced that her neighbors are part of a coven and plan to kidnap and sacrifice her child.
Scariness factor: The spookiness of this movie is very understated--you won't find yourself jumping in your seat and you won't be wowed by special effects. But the underlying creepiness that runs through the movie is still well-done. Just don't go in expecting a high-paced frightfest.
Originality: Again, not sure in the long history of film whether or not another movie had been done on a similar topic prior to Rosemary's Baby, but the movie is quite clever and interesting and offers up a harrowing turn at the end.
Complaints: The movie is a bit long (running 137 minutes, I believe). Polanski doesn't seem to like to cut his movies down too much and, though it didn't really ever lose my interest, I'm sure some cuts could've been made to make the movie shorter.
High Points: The acting is fantastic, between Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes and all the other folks in the movie. And Ruth Gordon (of Harold and Maude fame) adds a nice bit of creepy light-heartedness to the movie as well with her cute quirkiness and old-lady ramblings. There are many nice moments where she'll be doing something funny in the background or muttering something funny on the side. And although I'm not a huge Roman Polanski fan (Repulsion is really the only other movie of his that I really dug above and beyond the typical ho-hum movie), he does a really good job building up suspense, developing characters, and capturing some damn creepy moments.
Overall: I feel like a nerd because I've been giving movies an A rating left and right for the past couple weeks, but I've gotta say--I've hit a good horror-movie streak lately. So although it may seem like I'm no longer being critical, that is most certainly not the case. And with that being said, I dug Rosemary's Baby quite a bit. I'd seen it once before but wasn't bowled over by it then (I was much younger and didn't have quite so "discerning" movie tastes). But seeing it this second time 'round, I definitely appreciated its subtle moves and its low-key scariness. Don't go in expecting the fast pace of something like Scream--go in expecting a bit more character development and higher-quality direction, and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Labels: A movies