Rosemary’s Baby Redux

This is a film I come back to every year, usually at this time, as the season turns. Some old movies are very difficult to watch with current mores. Rosemary’s Baby is one that has grown to meet the times.

It’s a horror story about the patriarchy.

A suffocating, intense portrayal of a gaslit woman battling against dismissive doctors and one of the most loathsome husbands on film, played with rage-inducing slipperiness and manipulation by the excellent John Cassavetes.

Mia Farrow, who has lived this role, is so powerful as a woman besieged by the strictures of a society designed to constrain and depower her.

She fights and fights, but even when it’s hopeless there are sometimes ways to achieve transcendence if you stay true to yourself.

The paranoia in the final half is almost unbearable. There’s no blood, no monsters, only the mundane. And that’s where the real horror lies.