If you’ve neither watched nor read Rosemary’s Baby, that rare text that is relatively unchanged in adaptation, beware of spoilers.
I haven’t seen Rosemary’s Baby in ages so I decided to kickoff a Halloween marathon with it. This is a movie that seriously stands the test of time. It’s also the rare film that I can tolerate Mia Farrow in. The cinematography, the editing, and the camera angles brilliantly convey Rosemary’s downward spiral into fear, paranoia, and her ultimate break from reality. The casting of so many brilliant older character actors as the Satanists is probably what saves the movie from devolving into camp.
When I said I was going to rewatch this one, a friend scoffed at the character of the patronizing doctor who forbids Rosemary to read pregnancy books or talk to her friends and family, saying he made the movie dated and unrealistic. She hasn’t encountered some of the doctors I have over the past few years – many, like the doctor in the film, also considered the best doctors in town and thus infallible.
But I digress. Let’s get back to those Satanists. Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer are pitch perfect as Minnie and Roman Castevet, the annoying nosey geriatric couple who make keeping tabs on their young neighbors into an Olympic sport. Unbeknownst to Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, the young couple who move into the apartment next to the Castevet’s, when they aren’t being busybodies, they’re worshipping Satan. Quicker than you can say, “deal with the devil,” struggling actor guy sells out Rosemary in exchange for a successful acting career. Rosemary senses something is wrong with her pregnancy, her neighbors, and her husband. Terrific point-of-view shots through keyholes and peepholes and reflected images, such as the glimpse of herself Rosemary catches on the side of her toaster give the viewer the same slightly distorted perspective Rosemary seems to be experiencing thanks to the daily “vitamin drinks” supplied to her by Minnie Castevets.
This is a fine film which was nominated for many awards, features a stellar cast, looks terrific, and has stood the test of time. Consequently, it’s being remade by Michael Bay. This is such an idiotic idea that we can only assume the Devil is making him do it.