The truly horrifying thing in Rosemary’s Baby isn’t Satan; it’s her marriage. Released in 1968, this horror film based on the book by Ira Levin, the screenplay was written and directed by the now maligned Roman Polansky. Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), is a young fashionable woman. She moves to strange New York City apartment with her failing actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes). The past tenant died in the apartment under mysterious circumstances, but as it is just the right size to start a family the couple moves in. While doing laundry in the communal laundry room, Rosemary befriends a young woman staying with an elderly couple. When a short time later, the young woman is found dead on the pavement, Rosemary helps comfort the couple. Minnie and Roman Castavet are an odd sort, and nosy to boot, but they quickly form friendships with Guy. After a short time, Guy begins to get major roles, even as other actors suffer terrible fates. After Guy and Rosemary decide to have a baby, Rosemary wakes after being drugged to find herself being assaulted while surrounded by all the apartment dwellers performing a ritual. When she wakes, her husband acts like she’s crazy and says he had sex with her while she was sleeping because he was drunk. Rosemary discovers she’s pregnant a few days later, and everyone in the apartment begins to offer unsolicited advice. As the child grows inside her, Rosemary begins to unravel the secrets behind her home and the child she’s carrying.
Guy Woodhouse is a terrible husband and the worst kind of creep. Not only is he willing to sell over his wife’s body to further his career, he is more than happy to lie to his wife about it. What’s worse, he tries to cover it up by saying he had sex with her while she was sleeping. I’m sorry, did he just say he raped her? His cover for having her assaulted by the devil is saying he raped her while she’s sleeping?
Guy spends so much of the film working on his career and letting his wife suffer that you wonder if he has feelings at all. His continual lies to her are bad, but the fact that he helps drug her, kidnap her and deliver her to Satan was more shocking than a cult of old folks chanting “Hail Satan.”
During the film, Rosemary goes to get her haircut at Vidal Sassoon. The cut is very short, but stylish. When she returns to the apartment, Guy begins launching into her about how terrible she looks. This is one of her last moments of independence and she is punished for it.
Some lessons I learned from Rosemary’s Baby:
- If your neighbors are just a touch too nosy, they might be trying to steal your baby for their Dark Lord
- If your neighbors give you a special “herb necklace” for protection, and it’s just like the one that a girl who jumped to her death was wearing, maybe it’s time to move.
- When your husbands is obviously “gaslighting” you for Satan, get a divorce
- You evidently can’t trust an OBGYN in New York City, no matter how highly rated
- A man in a pink suit with a red bow tie is clearly an agent of Satan
- Don’t name your son Adrian
Rosemary’s Baby is currently on Netflix or available for purchase on Amazon.