|Fig. 1 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)|
Watching 'Rosemary's Baby' is an interesting experience as the audience knows something odd is going on relatively early in the film. This is very unusual for a horror film as usually the viewer is kept in the dark so a surprise can be delivered at the end. Instead, Polanski "gives the audience a great deal of information early in the story, and by the time the movie's halfway over we're pretty sure what's going on in that apartment next door. When the conclusion comes, it works not because it is a surprise but because it is horrifyingly inevitable," (Ebert, 1968). Early in the film Rosemary, clearly drugged, is seemingly raped by some monstrous creature in a surreal and disturbing dream. Although Rosemary dismisses this dream as her husband Guy having sex with her while she was unconscious, the viewer is left to suspect that this is not the truth.
|Fig. 2 The Devil's Eyes|
|Fig. 3 Rosemary's Dress|
While 'Rosemary's Baby' strays from the traditional method of building up suspense for fear, it is often celebrated as one of the best horror films of all time due to how disturbing and dark it is. This is perhaps due to the audience suspecting what is going on early in the film and being forced to watch an relatively innocent and sincere character slowly suffer and realize the truth for herself. It also makes the audience second guess themselves multiple times, is it really satanism and witchcraft or is Rosemary just crazy? In the end, perhaps the most horrifying aspect is seeing Rosemary's motherly instincts kick in despite her grim experience and knowing her child is Satan's son. The viewer never knows what happens next, we are just left with Rosemary's final little smile as she slowly rocks the baby's black cradle back and forth.
Adler, R. (1968) Rosemary's Baby (1968) At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF1738E271BC4B52DFB0668383679EDE Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Billson, A. (2010) Rosemary's Baby: No 2 best horror film of all time At: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/oct/22/rosemarys-baby-polanksi-horror Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Ebert, R (1968) Rosemary's Baby At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/rosemarys-baby-1968 Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Errigo, A. (2000) Rosemary's Baby Review At: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/rosemarys-baby/review/ Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Figure 1. Rosemary's Baby [Poster] At: http://36.media.tumblr.com/fc8b9b476f25cced11ce42b48b1c86ff/tumblr_nm7b0r6Cgk1tfd6dso8_1280.jpg Accessed on 15/3/2016
Figure 2. The Devil's Eyes [Film Still] At: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7kX9Q6LfNWk/U8yV90nsKXI/AAAAAAAACb4/cDXHcjYGo2c/s1600/Rosemary-Satan1.jpg Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Figure 3. Rosemary's Dress [Film Still] At: http://ladymanson.com/galleries/movies/MoviesRS/displayimage.php?pid=292034&fullsize=1 Accessed on: 15/3/2016