“We’re your friends, Rosemary. There’s nothing to be scared about. Honest and truly there isn’t!”
Today marks the 49th anniversary of the theatrical release of Rosemary’s Baby‘s, Roman Polanski’s terrifying slow burn of a film based on Ira Levin’s equally chilling 1967 novel. This happens to be one of my favorite horror films of all time and it is a true testament to classic horror that has stood the test of time.
Rosemary’s Baby is just as effective today as it was when it first terrorized audiences on the big screen in 1968, and for good reason. Polanski’s masterfully measured approach to tension, suspense, and paranoia still resonate with many horror fans; the film doesn’t feel particularly out of place alongside some of the modern paranoia-fueled horror flicks of late like The Witch, It Follows, and this weekend’s It Comes at Night, to name a few. No matter your thoughts on the director, whose career has often been overshadowed by his personal controversies, it is hard to deny the brilliance of Rosemary’s Baby and its lasting effect on modern genre cinema.
The film, which stars Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Ruth Gordon, tells the story of Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, a hopeful young couple who move into an apartment building, only to find it inhabited with odd neighbors and host to unsettling events. After becoming pregnant under concerning circumstances, Rosemary begins to suspect that something is very amiss in her newfound community and starts to fear for the life of her unborn baby. Paranoia begins to overtake Rosemary’s life, and despite her husband’s attempts at quelling her fears, she is sure that a sinister plot is in place and that she and her baby are the targets.
The film–which notably grossed more than 10 times its $3.2M budget–was recently adapted to a television miniseries starring Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana in 2014, though the adaptation was (unsurprisingly) not as warmly received as Polanski’s original film. That same year, the movie was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry, an honor reserved for films that have been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Check out the trailer for Rosemary’s Baby below, and if for some reason you have yet to do so, treat yourself and give the flick a watch this week!