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Quite possibly the finest horror film ever made, this is the brilliant adaptation of Ira Levin's novel about a young couple nervously expecting their first child. This commemorative edition features new never-before-seen retrospective interviews with Roman Polanski, Richard Sylbert and Robert Evans.
- Making Of
- Interviews with director Roman Polanski, producer Robert Evans and production designer Richard Sylbert
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I will start with the acting. Mia Farrow is stellar in her portrayal of a girl whose trust in everyone around her slowly deteriates. John Cassavettes as her hubby who favores his acting career over his wife is also chilling. His character is set up at the beginning to be this funny easy-to-like fella but the viewer along with Rosemary start to get the feeling that there is something more sinister underneath his nice-guy facade as some clues start to arise. They work together perfectly as a young playful couple and they both do a fantastic job of playing there respective parts later on in the film.
I believe that Roman Polanski was at the top of his form during the making of this film. He had used long takes to his advantage in the two films I've seen by him made before RB (Repulsion and Vampire Killers) and I think his use of the long takes in this film are particularly effective. Sometimes, I feel like the constant cutting between two different faces talking to each other can be distracting whereas in a long take where all characters are in the frame, It just seems more like you are watching a scene. I love near the end when the camera continiously follows a frazzled Rosemary through the halls of the apartment building. The camera work plus the jumpy music in that scene really put you in her shoes. Another favorite scene, right after her running through the halls of her apartment building I think, is when she is in her apartment with a knife and she hears Guy enter. She quickly runs into a closet, bumping her unborn childs creeky rockabye crib on her way. You see Guy searching through the fridge and then you see Rosemary's petite hand creep out of the closet with a massive knife and pokes the crib so it will stop rocking. Genius!
I think the main thing I appreciate about this film though is it's spot-on pacing. This is long compared to most other horror films (a bit over two hours) but it's pacing and suspense is what makes this film perfect. This along with Stanley Kubrick's The Shining both have the perfect pacing that shows someone on the screen slowly delve in to madness, the viewer going with them.
I actually don't know if I would consider this a horror film. It's more of a thriller or a suspense film. Horror is usually associated with blood and guts and murder, all of which this film does not possess. It does however possess some things that most horror films do not. A great director, great script, and great actors.
I highly recommend this for someone not looking for a scare-a-minute horror film, but a masterfully done slower thriller.
Thanks for reading.