Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Devil Baby

Rosemary's Baby is fucked. Two years before Rosemary's Baby 1968 release Time Magazine asked the question: is God dead?

The Time article explored the notion of God within an increasingly secular society. Interestingly, Rosemary herself picks up this copy at a doctor's office.
Luckily for Rosemary, she's already got the Devil on her side. The film deals with a search for knowledge down a slippery slope of an increasingly modern culture that still holds archaic values in the highest regard.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are a young married couple living in Manhattan.  From the light to the apartment building the young couple moves into, there's no mistaking this film as taking place anywhere except New York. Like other great New York films such as Wall Street or American Psycho, it's a reflection of a predatory social class based society. Guy is an actor, he wants to be a successful actor. So what do you do when your agent won't return your calls? Sell your wife's uterus to the Devil. It's more fun if you don't tell her about it.

Guy sets up a romantic meal, drugs Rosemary and proceeds to let the Devil have his way with her while she's semi-conscious. In one of the grossest scene in the film, Guy essentially tells Rosemary that it's normal for a husband to rape his wife if she's fallen asleep. Class. Act.

Indeed, one of the most frightening things about Rosemary's Baby is the persistence of homogeny and the patriarchal system.Rosemary's Baby's horror is a social one. How can we not see ourselves or our parents or our friends in these characters?

As Rosemary's pregnancy progress, her options shrink. Because she is a lone pregnant woman that believes there is something wrong in the homestead. The doctor who she seeks out herself for help out of her own accord believes her to be "hysterical" (a term I could devote an entire paper to) and calls her husband. When Rosemary sense danger she gains agency, but is rejected at every turn. Within the realm of this intelligent young woman there are no other options. She has no choice. The final moments are shocking because the audience understands this. She did everything she could and in the end, how could not love that little bastard?


  1. Hmmm... perhaps I'll have to give this one a second chance. I didn't much care for it the first time around, but maybe viewing it with your review in mind will help me appreciate it.

    1. You must!! Please do! And then let me know what you think.

  2. Hey!

    Will you please re-join via google friend connect? I exported the site to wordpress and all of our followers have had to re-register. I would be most appreciative.

    Thank you!!!

  3. Did you write a paper on religion's (or God's - varies for people) role in our ever evolving societal zeitgeist in horror films?

    Because holy.crap!

    1. You know, I haven't but now I might have to ;)

  4. Great article! Rosemary's Baby is one of the most significant horror films. It'a a masterpiece! Roman Polanski builds suspense scene by scene as the main female character struggles to retain her sanity in an unknown environment. Finally there is an unanswered question "Will Rosemary claim baby as her own?"