A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rosemary's Baby is a classic horror film that addresses occult themes throughout and isn't appropriate for children. Parents should be aware that this film deals frankly with pregnancy and adult sexuality. Characters practice satanic rituals, make bargains with the devil, drink alcohol, and have sex.
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What's the story?
Pregnancy is difficult – especially if yours is the focal point of an occult ritual. ROSEMARY'S BABY follows the trials of Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), a young wife whose desire to start a family goes horribly wrong. Her husband Guy (John Cassavetes) joins an occult group, using his wife's uterus as a bargaining chip in a deal to advance his acting career. Guy and Rosemary move into a new apartment building inhabited primarily with elderly people. Shortly afterward, strange things begin happening. A young woman who had been living with the Woodhouse's neighbors leaps to her death. Rosemary hears chanting late at night. As Guy makes a name for himself on stage and screen, Rosemary's pregnancy drains her physically, leaving her frail and in excruciating pain. Despite the reassurances of her doctor, Rosemary grows uneasy about her pregnancy and is suspicious of her husband and neighbors' activities.
Is it any good?
Roman Polanski's artful film renders an eerie and frightening world. Mia Farrow is perfect as the increasingly frantic Rosemary. Although scenes of gore and violence are somewhat limited, occult themes are pervasive and may be unsettling even to adults. Based on the novel by Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby is a film strongly tied to the era that produced it, addressing a number of social issues central to the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, particularly those concerning mental health and pregnancy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the issues of greed and ambition raised by Guy's character in Rosemary's Baby.
They could also talk about gender issues centering on marriage and pregnancy, including abusive relationships. What does the film suggest about women's position in marriage? How do these suggestions relate to the time period in which the film was produced?
Who are the monsters in this movie, and what, aside from their affiliation with the occult makes them monstrous?
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