Monday, 14 January 2019

Fast-paced page-turner for horror aficionados

Rosemary's BabyA creepy castle, a woman in distress, disturbing dreams and much, much more. Rosemary's Baby is a classic gothic horror story that takes place, not in the middle of nowhere, but right in the heart of New York City.

It starts with a young, married couple, the Woodhouses, moving into The Bramford apartment building, much in demand for its period features, "weird, gargoyles and creatures climbing up and down between the windows." Rosemary is a little insecure, having been rejected by her large, Catholic family because she moved away from home and married a Protestant. Guy, her husband, is an ambitious actor, full of self-confidence. Everyone seems envious of their good fortune in obtaining a flat in The Bram, except for Hutch, Rosemary's paternal, English friend. However the couple ignore Hutch's misgivings and are soon getting to know their strange neighbours.

Ira Levin published the story in 1967, and 50 years on, some of the characters' actions, as well as the plot machinations, teeter on the verge of incredulity. Initially, much of it relies on Rosemary's unwillingness to appear unfriendly, her choosing to ignore Guy's "signals of a shortcoming in his love for her," and his frankly appalling idea of sexual "fun." Nevertheless, it is a well-written, fast-paced page-turner of a book and a must-read for aficionados of horror.

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