Movie Name: Rosemary’s Baby
Studio: City Entertainment
Release Date(s): May 11, 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Rosemary Woodhouse (Zoe Saldana) and her husband Guy (Patrick J. Adams) have just suffered a miscarriage. Taking a break, Guy accepts a teaching position in Paris while Rosemary just tries to recover. When she returns a stolen purse to a woman named Margaux Castevet (Carole Bouquet), a new friendship is sparked. A fire at their apartment and an open room at the building own by Margaux and her husband Roman (Jason Isaacs) seems like a perfect match…but is it all an accident? When Rosemary finds herself pregnant again and Guy finds sudden success, Rosemary begins to question Roman and Margaux’s help…and anyone she turns to seems to end up dead. Rosemary’s baby is coming and Roman and Margaux might have sinister plans for it.
Directed by Agnieszka Holland, Rosemary’s Baby is a 2014 mini-series adaptation of Ira Levin’s 1967 horror novel. The movie previous had famously been adapted by Roman Polanski in 1968 and drew comparisons by reviewers. Airing in two parts on May 11, 2014 and May 15, 2014, Rosemary’s Baby has been collected on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Rosemary’s Baby was a classic and a film of its time. The nature of the film and the style work well with the movie, but people who see it today might not be able to comprehend some of the social aspects of Rosemary’s “trappings”. The remake of the film does successfully update some aspects of the film but fails in most others.
What works in Rosemary’s Baby is the decision to move it to Paris. The world is now very connected and the idea of becoming “lost” in New York City with Facebook, Twitter, etc. seems very unlikely. The move to Paris puts up both a language and a cultural barrier for Rosemary. She doesn’t know what is socially as acceptable in Europe and this explains her reasons for not reaching out for help as much as if she was in New York City.
Unfortunately, the movie moves at a snail’s pace. Rosemary isn’t even pregnant until the end of the first episode. The horror in the original film was the unstoppable force of the baby coming. Here the urgency is taken away by the length of the film and you just want it to really get going.
It is too bad because I rather like Zoe Saldana’s Rosemary but she had little to do in the movie. Besides the easily likable “bad guys” Jason Isaacs and Carol Bouquet, most of the cast was uninspiring and underdeveloped (plus Isaacs’ character’s backstory was so unnecessarily garbled).
The movie tries to be a bit more gory, by some deaths which seem more inspired by The Omen than the original book. Once again however, the movie is made to for television so even they seemed tone down and not up to the level of a real R-Rated horror film. The decision to show the baby at the end of the film was quite a letdown…sure his eyes were a little wacky but not ever that crazy…I liked not knowing better.
Rosemary’s Baby is a failed attempt to modernize a story that really can’t be modernized nor should be. It isn’t the worst movie you’ll see but since there is already a great version of the story, it isn’t worth seeing this one…at least we’ll still have Paris.