Flavorwire’s 50 Essential Horror Films, Final Countdown

9. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Blending supernatural chills, satanic themes, and the mundane reality of a 1960’s housewife, Roman Polanski created a disquieting study of urban anxiety and a rare portrait of gender/sexual anxiety. A young, newly married couple (John Cassavetes and Mia Farrow) move into an ominous New York City apartment that seems to shelter a host of eccentric characters. They’re a little too anxious and excited about Rosemary’s pregnancy. Isolation and increasing paranoia slowly erode Rosemary’s fragile psyche that crumbles amid terrifying nightmares and surreal encounters. Polanski’s subtle, but powerful portrayal of Rosemary’s disintegration allows our imagination to run wild. The gothic apartment and other sinister touches are atmospheric and finely detailed. Polanski expertly builds tension throughout the movie and delivers the final blow during the film’s unforgettable closing scenes. Rosemary’s Baby helped initiate a wave of satanic panic horror that spread throughout 1970’s cinema.