A TALE OF URBAN SUBURBAN SURVIVAL

Monday, October 29, 2012

-film fiend: rosemary's baby-

Just in time for Halloween (or if Sandy continues to act up like Irene, another lack thereof), I've been indulging in scary movies. Well, as scary as I can take. For example, today I braved the classics---The Invisible Man, The Mummy---heck, I even squeezed in Halloween: Resurrection.

But none of these can compare to the incredibly disturbing film Rosemary's Baby we watched last night.


Like TOP 5 kind of disturbing. EVER.

Ok, so maybe I'm a huuuuuge weenie when it comes to horror, but hear me out:  Rosemary's Baby is not disturbing in the way you would think. I had envisioned a blend of The Exorcist and The Omen. You know, basic Spawn of Satan type stuff. But this was so much more.

The film really could have been just been called Rosemary---the radiant, fragile Mia Farrow sucks you into her world as she journeys from naive housewife to manipulated mom while the, um, baby doesn't really make an appearance until the very end.

And seriously, producers missed out on a HUGE opportunity to do a remake with Gwyneth Paltrow, like 15 years ago. it's uncanny...

You basically sit through a couple of hours with an increasing, unabating sense of dread---an oppressive husband, mysterious deaths, creepy neighbors. By the last half hour, you want to scream at the TV, "Rosemary, you dumbass! Don't let yourself get isolated!! Listen to your gut! Nonono, don't confide in HIM!! WHY haven't you developed an escape plan by now??"

And a warning, ladies: if you're remotely considering becoming pregnant, do yourself a favor and just hold off on this one. There are enough squeamish aspects of pregnancy to make the average girl cringe, but couple that with (SPOILER ALERT) a widespread conspiracy and systematic isolation and abuse, and well, you downright feel like becoming a nun (for a number of reasons).

This was a timeless, thrilling, disturbing film. More Hitchcock than horror. More Twilight zone than terror (need I go on?).

But in the end, the truly disturbing part came in the form of a DVD Special Feature titled 'Mia and Roman'. It focused on the star of the movie, and of course, her director, Roman Polanski, in his first major film. It included clips of interviews and videos of them around the time the movie was shot, including a clip of Sharon Tate, Roman's wife who was murdered less than a year later by Charles Manson's followers.

Seeing Mia and Roman in their prime of life, unaware of how hard and dark their personal lives would become? Now that was truly disturbing.

Maybe I'll just stick with Nightmare Before Christmas...

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