Rosemary’s Baby

‘At the Devil’s Door’: There’s More Than One Way to Mother a Demon

At-the-Devils-Door

Many reviewers of ‘At the Devil’s Door’ compare it to ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ and rightfully so: both films are masterpieces of pregnancy terror and the horror of unholy motherhood. But the women in these two stories have vastly different experiences accepting their roles as mothers of demonic spawn.

Demon/Spirit Possession: The Roundup

Rosemary Wears Mask

Check out all of the posts for our Demon/Spirit Possession Theme Week here.

‘Rosemary’s Baby’: Who Possesses the Pregnant Woman’s Body?

The poster for Rosemary's Baby

To what extent does a woman, pregnant or otherwise, “own” her body? To what extent can or should a woman’s (pregnant) body be subject to social concerns? Physically and socially, where is the divide between the mother’s body and the baby’s body? By raising these questions, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is not only concerned with the spiritual but, also, the social possession of the female body.

The “Blurred Lines” of Body Horror and Rape Culture

Still from John Carpenter's The Thing

The idea of “coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t” in regard to the source of most body horror films is very reminiscent of the way we as a society deal with victims/survivors of rape. Why is it that people immediately feel bad for MacReady and the boys when they’re attacked by The Thing without ever telling them they were “asking for it” by playing with a stray animal, but at the same time we’re still seeing news reporters and politicians try and discredit rape victims and assume it was the victim’s fault? Body horror is very closely related to rape culture because it puts a mask on the violence of rape by putting it in the context of an “other worldly invasion” and makes it permissible to revel in the other person’s destruction.

‘Lyle’ is a Lesbian Take on ‘Rosemary’s Baby’? Yes Please!

Lyle movie poster

My sister and fellow Bitch Flicks contributor, Angelina Rodriguez, and I live tweeted our viewing of ‘Lyle.’ We loved actress Gaby Hoffman’s big, beautiful brows and the gap between her two front teeth (these two traits are strong in our own family). Leah often wears ratty, mismatched pajamas, and very few of the characters have styled hair. Overall, we appreciated how real and unmade-up the film’s stars were.

“Post-Feminist” ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is a Difficult Labor

Film Poster for Rosemary’s Baby (2014)

Though the core idea of story–a young woman’s fear and uncertainty of what is happening to her body during pregnancy–is timeless, the execution of the remake is fairly dated. In the original, Rosemary is a naive housewife, yet she still manages to be tougher and emerges a more fully realized character than the remake’s Rosemary who stops struggling and pretty much does what she’s told once she becomes pregnant.

Seed & Spark: Gaslighting, Demonic Possession, and the Unreliable Female Brain

Juno Temple in "Magic Magic"

I love a good psychological thriller, especially if it involves insanity. The fear that I might be insane, that my perception might be warped, that instead of calmly walking to the bus stop, I am actually muttering to myself (scraping my clawed fingers along the yellow wallpaper) is a driving force in my creative process. The boundary between perception and reality is fertile ground for filmmaking, but I wonder why it’s always women whose brains get warped or permeated? I know our lady parts are conduits to Satan, and old Hollywood liked us vulnerable and prone to hysteria… But are we really getting tricked all the time, or is there a feminist edge to the gaslight thriller?

Horror Week 2012: Top 10: Best Female-Centered Horror Films

This is a guest post from Eli Lewy. Horror films are commonly seen as one of the most sexist film genres; utilizing the voyeuristic male gaze, objectifying the female body, and reveling in helpless women being victimized. I am not discounting these claims, but horror has the potential to be more than that: films which […]

Motherhood in Film & Television: ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

This is a guest post from Erin Fenner. Rosemary’s Baby, the Roman Polanski 1968 adaptation of the novel with the same name, uses minimal effects. While it is a horror story about the mother of Satan’s child, we only briefly glimpse the arm and eyes of the feature’s supposed monster. And, while the plot against […]

Horror Week 2011: The Roundup

Alien_Ellen Ripley

Sleepaway Camp by Carrie Nelson The shock of Sleepaway Camp’s ending relies on the cissexist assumption that one’s biological sex and gender presentation must always match. A person with a mismatched sex and gender presentation is someone to be distrusted and feared. Though the audience has identified with Peter throughout the movie, we are meant […]

Horror Week 2011: Rosemary’s Baby: Marriage Can Be Terrifying

This is a guest post by Stephanie Brown.   Rosemary’s Baby is one scary movie. It’s about a woman’s lot in a hostile world. It is about a terrible marriage to a narcissistic and selfish person. It is about the fear of motherhood and giving birth. It is convincing as a terrifying movie about the supernatural, […]