ENG 1101 Fall 2020 OL20 (26956)

Horror Movie Assignment
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Terrifying and darkly comic, Rosemary’s Baby marked the Hollywood debut of
Roman Polanski. This wildly entertaining nightmare, faithfully adapted from Ira
Levin’s best seller, stars a revelatory Mia Farrow as a young mother-to-be who
grows increasingly suspicious that her overfriendly elderly neighbors, played
by Sidney Blackmer and an Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon and self-involved husband
(actor and filmmaker John Cassavetes) are hatching a satanic plot against her
and her baby. In the decades of occult cinema Polanski’s ungodly masterpiece
has spawned, it’s never been outdone for sheer psychological terror.
Assignment: 1) Write an essay explaining why Rosemary’s Baby is a horror film. What makes it an outstanding example of that genre?
• Use one of these web articles:

The Psychology of Scary Movies


https://www.boredpanda.com/horror-movie-cliches/ with films the word “clichés” is often referred to as “tropes.”

Also, go to rottentomatoes.com to find a review from when the film was brand new, 1968.

You need five paragraphs: intro, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use four transitionals altogether. Use an interesting beginning, starting with a quote, an anecdote, or a question.
• quote your sources, including one quote from each source, at least one film review from a top critic and one article.

Please read the above web articles. Now respond to each of these points:

a) Write about how well the film we watched represents horror films, how it
exemplifies or demonstrates the conventions, the stereotypes. Include the
kind of horror movie conventions (mysterious houses; dark, stormy nights;
odd children, or odd older people) and themes: fear of the dark, fear of
illness, of pain, of being different, of disfigurement, of death, of Satan, etc.,
that you see demonstrated

b) What time of day do most horror scenes occur in, and why do you think that is typical?

c) What kinds of weapons, if any, are typical of horror movies and what kinds of weapons rarely appear? What weapons, if any, were in our film?

d) Is there any connection between religious beliefs and appreciation of horror films? (Some writers feel that there is a connection and that people who are religious tend to like horror films because they are receptive to concepts of spirituality and the afterlife—Heaven and Hell, of the existence of Satan because they accept the existence of God, etc.) Do you agree?

e) How did the film fit or defy the above characteristics of horror movies? Use three body paragraphs, reasons it qualifies as a horror movie, or not—you may have three reasons for, two reasons for and one against, and so forth.

Other recommended horror films for your entertainment:
Psycho (1960 original version), Carrie (1976 original version), The Exorcist (1973), The Night of the Living Dead (1968 or 1990 remake), The Shining (1980) The Witch (2015), Hereditary (2018)