“Why have you conjured me into existence, Mistress Minion?”
“Because I can! I found the secret book hidden away, thought lost for all time! Now I have the power over those bigger and stronger than myself! Mauahaahaah!!!! Now, I command you to attack and devour my enemies! Leave not even their bones unbitten!”
“But I’m a vegetarian.”
So yeah, it’s all about the occult this time around, and Rosemary’s Baby is the choice for tonight.
Mia Farrow plays Rosemary, wife to actor Guy (John Cassavetes ). The couple is touring a recently vacated apartment. Their old landlord has them over for supper later so he can tell them a few horror stories about their new building like the one about a couple of old Victorian ladies who used to live in the building and were into cannibalism. Another tenant claimed to have raised the devil. All these stories do little to deter the pair, though, and they move in.
They fix the place up, Rose makes a friend, and that friend winds up dead outside the building not long after. They treat the death like a suicide but it’s still pretty suspicious considering how happy she seemed. Did the chanting they heard in the building the night before connected? Rose starts having some strange dreams after that.
At the neighbours for supper later, the old man says an interesting thing, that the Pope never goes to a city where the newspapers are on strike. “Well that’s show biz!” He keeps going on that tangent for a while, that religions are filled with showmen dressed in costumes, nothing more. And he reminds Rosemary that as a lapsed Catholic, she doesn’t need to have respect for the Pope because he pretends to be holy.
While Guy thinks their senior citizen neighbours are swell, Rose thinks they’re weird and annoying. The night the pair of them want to try making a baby, Mrs. Castevet (Ruth Gordon) dropped off a strange tasting dessert. Rose wakes up the next morning with little recollection of her hallucinations: naked people chanting, a boat ride, and someone that looked a bit like the devil doing the nasty to her lady parts.
She winds up preggers and the neighbours get her a new doctor they “know” because they want to involve themselves in the process – a little too closely.
When Rose’s old friend Hutch dies after a long illness, Rose remembers the last time she thought about him – the day he was supposed to meet her downtown and never showed. At the funeral, his ladyfriend gives Rose a book Hutch wanted her to have. She wonders why she’d get a book from him called “All of Them Witches” but flipping through it, she soon sees the connection – it features a story about the tenant of her building that once raised the devil and was later supposedly killed by a mob. There’s also a major clue in the book that requires Scrabble for some anagram solving product placement.
But when Rose tells Guy about her conclusion about witches being all over the building and needing baby blood and people’s possessions for their main rituals, he makes it sound like she’s off her rocker. But she’s adamant she doesn’t want those people anywhere near her kid. Too bad it’s too late…
All in all, it’s an okay movie but it really drags compared to other films. The tension is pretty uneven, barely building up before it’s back to being boring again. I suppose it’s somewhat sinister but I don’t think they did a decent enough job setting up Rose’s increased paranoia and apparent craziness throughout the film. It comes out as almost too sudden in the run-up to the climax.