Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Tis’ the Season, Charmers!

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I haven’t been around much except for blog tours, but behind-the-scenes I’ve been delving into some wicked Halloween reads. Witches, Vampires, Horror Anthologies, Man-made creatures brought back from death’s grasp, and more. Halloween is basically my Christmas and for the next few days, I’ll be delivering my offerings of frightful reads, podcasts, and other spooky themed goodness.

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Rosemary’s Baby is a notorious famous horror film directed by Roman Polanski back in the 60s. For years, this tale has inspired generations of horror filmmakers and writers all across the globe. People seem to forget this apocalyptic masterpiece actually derived from a novel, however. A novel created from the unique mind of author Ira Levin and, in my opinion, ahead of it’s time.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse appear to be the perfect couple. Rosemary, a stay at home wife dead set on starting a family, while her husband Guy, struggling actor, are searching for their perfect apartment home in New York. They choose to move into the Bramford, a prestigious building with a slight, um, dark reputation for attracting not-so-pleasant guests who meet violent ends. Despite warnings about it’s past from Rosemary’s father figure Hutch (adore this man), Guy and Rosemary move in anyway. Soon, strange things begin to occur that will shake not only Rosemary’s personal life, but the future of the world itself.

Rosemary befriends a woman named Terry at the beginning of the novel right when her and her husband move into the Bramford. Terry tells Rosemary of her past dealings with alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, she ended up on the streets until the Castevets, an elderly couple who live at the Bramford as well, “rescued” her.

We don’t get to spend much with Terry in the novel even though I would have loved to have more scenes written with her in them. Why? Well, Terry’s life is cut short because of her apparent suicide outside the Bramford. Enter in the Castevets, who never suspected why she would have done such a thing, but due to Terry’s death – this ushers them into entering the Woodhouse’s lives. When I say enter, I mean basically take over.

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Dinners with the couple, digging them into their current lives, wondering how many children they may have, religious backgrounds, their stances with their families, suddenly “appearing” with desert at their door on baby making night, etc.. Ok, I don’t care, but there were red flags about this couple from the get-go that any intelligent person would have picked up on. The couple is obviously up to no good and they turn the Woodhouse’s lives turn upside down.

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I’m not going to spoil anymore than I already have. If you’ve seen the movie, I have to give props to Polanski for sticking close to the book (even though he is a creep, look him up). He stuck extremely close to the book while adding onto the incredible foreshadowing author Ira Levin wrote in the novel. You have to read the novel at least twice or even more to pick up on all of the pieces. Polanski also became insanely creative with the metaphors in the book by making them even more relatable, both politically and religiously to the times, in the transfer to film. These aspects enhanced the true darkness of it all and that is what truly makes the film a classic. For the book lover side, he practically used the dialogue word-for-word straight from the book-it’s incredible! When it comes to transferring content from book to screen and directing the actors that you can’t see anyone else play those characters, this film and book are a perfect representation of how it should be handled.

This book was written during a time of female oppression during the 60s. The overall transformation of Rosemary, in book and in the movie, is astonishing to watch unfold. Her cutting her hair, her rebellion against the Castevettes and her husband’s control, the rights to her baby and her choice to be a mother or not, and her own push to find out what is really going on behind the walls of her home and beyond – all signs of women’s fight for rights. This book can be looked at under many lights, both horror and political.

Regardless of your preference, though, this is the perfect Halloween read for this year or any year!

Rating 10

Have you read “Rosemary’s Baby” or have watched the movie?

What are your thoughts on them?

Do you have any Halloween Recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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