Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Tale of Two Rosemary's

Rosemary's Baby is a bestselling horror novel that sparked a movie and a modern day mini-series. The story revolves around Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy Woodhouse. Rosemary thinks life for them is headed in the right direction when she becomes pregnant and her husband's career takes off, but in actuality it is the beginning of a nightmare. She experiences a rough pregnancy, and her husband becomes distant, not to mention she starts to become suspicious of her overly friendly neighbors. Unbeknownst to Rosemary, her husband decided to sacrifice his family for a successful career and collaborated with their new neighbors.  Rosemary is overtaken by paranoia and eventually discovers a plot against her formed by witches to sacrifice her baby. This story takes us on a psychological thrill, filled with hallucinations, witchcraft, and suspense. Rosemary’s Baby takes the joys and excitement of becoming pregnant and twists it into a disturbing and frightening experience.

The original movie was released in 1968 and was a box office hit despite issues with how to market and release it due to the demonic undertones. In 2014, NBC aired the mini-series.  Fans and critics were divided over certain differences between the 1968 movie and the 2014 mini-series. Many felt that the updated version lacked the suspense and overall psychological affect from the original. NBC did in fact add a new spin to its version. But does different mean worse? For starters, the main actress had an ethnicity change. Mia Farrow was the original actress and Zoe Saldana, a woman of color, was passed the torch.

The mini-series took place in Paris, while the original story took place in New York. The body count was also a lot higher in the new version.  In the opening scene of the NBC version, we witness a suicide of a lady jumping from a window. This took place before Rosemary and Guy are introduced. In the original film, that scene happened later in story, and the Woodhouses’ are aware of the suicide due to the fact that it was one of their neighbors. In the original movie, Guy was pursuing an acting career.  His career in the modern day version was switched to writing. In the mini-series, Rosemary is a lot more cautious and passionate about her pregnancy due to a past miscarriage. One of the most controversial differences between the movie and the mini-series is the revealing of the actual baby in newest version. 

The book and the original version left the details of what the child might look like to the imagination, adding to the mystery of the story. One might expect the child of Satan to appear deformed and grotesque. The thought of poor Rosemary raising this demonic baby added to the fright factor. The child shown in updated version didn't look devilish or menacing at all. In fact, he was quite adorable. NBC showed us a bi-racial healthy baby boy with icy blue eyes. The terror we had all suspected from the appearance of the devil’s child came crashing down. He was too cute and innocent looking to scare us any further. 

Thoughts anyone?

About The Author
K. Bly is an expert on book reviews that spotlight girls and 
women, of color, characters in the horror, sci-fi, and suspense 
genres of literature, in novels and comic books. You can find
her on both Twitter (@emma_fRhost2) and Instagram
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