Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary looks scared in Rosemary's Baby

“He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son!”

Good horror movies seem to be a dying art. I grew up thinking I hated horror movies. It wasn’t until I went back to the classics that I discovered that I really liked some of them. The biggest change (aside from gratuitous use of jump scares) seems to be the transition from the power of imagination to bad CGI effects—no special effect will ever be as scary as what the brain can conjure based on context clues from other characters. Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Roman Polanski (Chinatown, The Tenant) and starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes, is a classic horror film that scares through restraint and subtlety, and what it doesn’t show is more terrifying than the special effects today, 50 years later. It’s also an exceptionally smart horror film, with a depth missing from most mass-market horror films today. Is this 50-year-old horror film worth watching today? Yes, absolutely.

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“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

It’s not often that you come across a movie with a brilliant and absolutely flawless script. The Godfather and Casablanca fall into this category, and I had heard a lot about them growing up. But I had never even heard of Chinatown until I started putting my list together. Directed by Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Rosemary’s Baby) and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, this is a film noir/mystery with a modern bite, and the script is absolutely amazing. In fact, most screenwriting classes and workshops will at least reference Chinatown. The mystery is great and keeps you guessing, and in true film noir fashion, it can get pretty dark. But this is a brilliant and entertaining movie that should be watched by any film fan.

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