Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)

A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.

One of the most popular Horror films of all time from one of the most unique directors of his time, Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby isn’t the regular chill. It almost not classifies as a Horror movie at all. Shot for its most parts into a New York apartment that a young couple of Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes) rent, we as watchers are stick to the screen and manipulated just as Rosemary seems to be.

Forming a trilogy on the alienation of the life in the apartment of a huge city with Repulsion and The Tenant, Rosemary’s Baby takes the path of the less you see and know is better for you and it doesn’t held the hand of the audience at all. It makes it think and guess what would happen next. Sometimes, the viewer gets the same thing that Rosemary and no explanation is needed and just the use of a subtle mise en scène and storytelling mastery. With this film we discover how great is Polanski’s invisible directing. Edits are always made that they are not really sensible and the plot unfolds at the right pace. Nothing is shown for décor or aesthetics. The director wants us to watch and notice every element he presents on the screen. There’s a big heritage from Hitchcock’s storytelling in Polanski’s but he also has his own language that he mastered like a great painter he only needs few strokes of a brush to show a clear image. His camera does it with great effects.

The mystery around Rosemary’s preoccupation gets her so isolated that at some point you have to ask yourself if it’s not just her that hallucinates and links those coincidences together. Her isolation in this apartment is one of the main facts that Polanski wanted to highlight with the wife staying home in those pure white walls that makes it feel claustrophobic. The aforementioned trilogy is a tour de force in a world where people left the country to live into the city and pile up in tall apartments; Polanski did a landmark film as his first American film.

This film was assigned to me and my fellow bloggers by the 1001 Movies Club for this year’s Halloween post. As I sat down to write my review I decided to give it a re watch. The re watch factor is very high in this case because I could notice many little details in the film and how right are the colors, costumes, and even Farrow’s hair styles. It was as if it was the first time I watched it and this demonstrates a lot about the genuine value of this production. A must see and a great film. 


  1. Still works all of these years later because it's less of a horror movie, and more of a suspense thriller that plays with the idea of something horrific and terrible actually happening. Good review Michael.

    1. Yeah maybe it is why it is still very efficient. However, I think that it really sticks to Horror for its whole and the themes. Thanks Dan.


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