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June 23, 2008

Rosemary's Baby

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This is a well-crafted, amazingly intricate suspense film where the audience isn't sure whether the lead character is a victim of a horrible plot or merely paranoid for quite a lot of the movie. And the pay-off is big and satisfying (if a tad bit cheesy by modern stadards, admittedly.) But once you know "the truth" you can look back and see all the meticulous set-ups and pay-offs which are spread throughout the film, many of which the filmmakers don't make explicit, but rather trust their audience to be smart enough to remember them on their own.

Make no mistake, this is a film oozing with creepiness, and in a good way. Not horrific, like the Exorcist, but just an unsettling dread throughout, a sense that something is not quite right, an impending doom. It works.

I'd highly recommend it (though be warned, there is a very trippy dream sequence with some extremely disturbing imagery. This film earns its R rating.)

Side notes:
* A young Mia Farrow looks a whole lot like Gwyneth Paltrow in my opinion.
* Ruth Gordon, of Harold and Maude fame, completely steals this film. She is incredible.
* This film doesn't have a happy ending, at all... and in fact it's quite subversive. But it's pretty satisfying from a filmmaking perspective.
* I've discovered that I love American films from the late 60s and early 70s. Who knew?

4 out of 4

Posted by jason on June 23, 2008 01:48 AM

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