I started Rosemary’s Baby by reading the actual, physical book first, but then it dawned on me. Is this on Audible? I have to do chores, but I can’t put this down, so I wonder… and alas! It was on Audible, and it was amazing.
Mia Farrow (the original actress for Rosemary) narrated the novel and she did it perfectly. Her voice, along with all of the screams and music, were a perfect addition to this novel. Ira Levin outdid himself in 1968, because I usually don’t like horrors from that decade, but this book was groundbreaking. He produced amazing graphic scenes, and created a world where evil could co-exist with the good.
Back in the 1960’s, Rosemary’s Baby was a huge breakthrough. The book, and the movie, allowed movies like The Exorcist, The Omen, and it even inspired Stephen King and Anne Rice to join in. The movie even influenced Jordan Peel with his movie “Get Out.” Also, with the movie coming out right after the assassination of Dr. King, there are a lot of conspiracies around it that ultimately surrounded the fact that you can’t trust anyone.
The book and the movie were declared perfect by the critics and it was a modern masterpiece, and that Levin was better than Alfred Hitchcock. However, the high-ratings came at a cost. Despite how brilliant it was, the book and the movie were considered cursed.
Several people died in the years following the release, including Roman Polanski’s wife. Polanski was the director of the film, and his wife tried to get cast in the role as Rosemary, but the production turned him down. Not long after, she was murdered by the Manson Family and it wasn’t long before everyone believed that Satan was behind it. Included in the deaths surrounding the movie was also John Lennon, where he was killed across the street from where the filmed was shot.
Ira Levin didn’t get away from his cursed fate either. His marriage fell apart, and he took the usual turn towards the worst. After the movie was filmed, he never tried to get into Hollywood and his career lasted as long as Rosemary’s Baby was in the news.
The Catholic Church also said that the movie deserved a “C” rating because it should be condemned, and that it mocked modern culture. Later, Levin said he had religious guilt and that he thought his book was irrational, but he still continued on to write Son of Rosemary. Unfortunately, the film adaptation flopped, but the novel was a bestseller.
Ultimately, the novel has everything. A great horror perspective, it’s full of religious issues, a very intense portrayal of Satan, and it even includes conspiracies to boot. The book, and the movie, are as classic as they should be, and it’s immensely high on my recommendations list. While I don’t bring it up as often as modern books, it’s definitely something every horror fan should read before they die.