Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby ReviewJoe Shaffer
In the not-so-grand tradition of forgotten horror film sequels: The Birds II: Land's End, The Omen IV: The Awakening, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Rage: Carrie 2, and Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil...
I give you Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby!
1968's Rosemary's Baby was not only a fantastic supernatural thriller, but it was one of the few horror flicks to secure an Oscar. However, it's not the kind of movie that begs for a sequel. Really, what made its ending so creepy was the uncertainty of the events that would unfold following the film's conclusion. We never discover whether or not Adrian rises to power, or if the Almighty exacts righteous indignation upon him before the world crumbles. A film depicting such events could only hope to be a cheesy, inferior product that robs the original tale of its power.
Unfortunately, someone didn't get the memo...
Think about this now: Adrian is the son of Satan. Obviously, whatever transpires following Rosemary's Baby should be epic, even biblical. However, the film's obscure, made-for-TV sequel entitled Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby is anything but stellar. Hell, it's so far below par that it's difficult to take the movie seriously about ninety percent of the time, and that's the last thing I would want to say about a film related to one as well made as Rosemary's Baby.
Look What's Happened... picks up a few years after its predecessor, during a time in which Rosemary (now played by Patty Duke instead of Mia Farrow) decides to abscond with her hellspawn to some remote part of the US where the coven can never find her. Right away, alarms should be sounding, as Rosemary wasn't this big of an idiot in the previous film. I mean, is it really possible to hide from the freakin' devil? Rosemary never considered that?
As you can imagine, the coven discovers her whereabouts. By corrupting a prostitute named Marjean, whom Rosemary meets during her travels, they hatch a scheme that only a complete moron (i.e. Patty Duke's Rosemary) would fall for. Out of the blue, Marjean offers to pay Rosemary's and Adrian's bus fare so that they can meet up with Rosemary's now-estranged husband Guy. From there, Marjean drives them to a random location at the side of the road and instructs Rosemary to flag down the bus. She even offers to hold Adrian while Rosemary does so. Hmm... A hooker I just met, who lives in a dinky may-as-well-be-a-shack-by-the-river sized trailer, wants to pay for my bus ticket for no discernible reason while I'm outrunning a coven of Satanists who want to turn my baby into the Antichrist, and she tells me to do something obviously out of the ordinary while she handles my child.... Seems legit!
Eventually the transit arrives, decked out almost like a hearse. 'Cause, you know, that doesn't look blatantly sinister or anything... Rosemary boards the vehicle and the door shuts behind her, permanently separating her from Adrian. This is the last we see of our titular heroine, a character that Roman Polanski spent an entire film developing into a likeable, relatable soul. Instead of a proper send off, she falls victim to an idiotic ruse, dragged to hell by Satan's Greyhound.
From there, Marjean raises Adrian as his aunt. Years down the line, Adrian's "aunt" comes into possession of a casino, where she intends to hold a ritual that will finalize his ascent to Antichristdom.
...which fails because Adrian isn't evil enough. Rather than committing senseless acts of debauchery and sin, the most sinister deeds Adrian accomplishes involve speeding, lying to cops, and binge drinking. You could say that he is, as Dr. Evil once put it, the "Diet Coke of evil." Although the ritual fails, the coven suddenly realize that there's still a way to draw out Adrian's nefarious nature: by letting him dance to that unholy rock 'n roll music. I'm not even making this up. There's a scene where the coven attempts to corrupt Adrian by letting him dance to a nameless live rock band.
What I've described above doesn't sound like your typical horror movie sequel. When continuations miss the mark of the original this badly, we tend to file them under "godawful fan-fiction," and that's precisely what Look What's Happened... seems like. Returning roles are out of character, the motives of the antagonists are silly, and the way the movie plays out is anything but grand--which is exactly what a story about a man potentially rising to the role of "Antichrist" should be. Instead of evolving into one of the most well known and feared villains in Western culture, Adrian matures into a run-of-the-mill douchebag. Folks, it doesn't get more underwhelming than this.
That might be because Adrian is the protagonist instead of the central antagonist. The film seems to hint at Adrian defying his fate and undergoing a dynamic transformation. Unfortunately, the movie spends too long making him out to be a dirt bag and provides you with no reason whatsoever to invest in Adrian. Thanks to that, the story is an arduous affair that consists of sitting through oodles of crappy dialogue and watching some of perhaps the tamest attempts at horror caught on film. How tame, you ask? There's a scene where a couple of children bully Adrian, and Satan smites them by causing them to fall to the ground in slow motion. After having seizure-like symptoms, they turn out to be okay. It sounds like Lucifer is losing his edge...
Much of the movie is riddled with unintentional humor and fright-free scare scenes. During one scene, a member of the coven welcomes Adrian (who at this point is still unaware that he's the son of Satan) by saying, "Did you ever know that you were conceived at midnight?" During another scene, Adrian is in trouble and his buddy races to his rescue. Beelzebub decides to stifle the young man by sending a damn near harmless bird to leave a meager scratch on his hand and fly away. Let's not forget the coup de grace: the coven prepares Adrian for the ritual by painting his face like a freakin' mime. Yes, he still wears the mime makeup during the rock 'n roll corruption/dance scene. Seriously, if you wind up YouTubing this movie, you must seen that part: the Antichrist dances to generic rock music while dressed like a mime.
The worst thing, though, about Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby is the ending. I won't spoil it for you, but it's one of those endings that leaves you saying, "That's it? I sat through this piece of crap for this?" That Look What's Happened... is an unfathomable sequel is not an issue. However, if filmmakers were to produce a follow-up, they should give their audience a good reason to sit through it. Otherwise, why bother even making a sequel? There is no exciting development that makes the ordeal of watching it worthwhile. What you will find is a horrid, slapped-together conclusion that takes the previous film's characters nowhere interesting, and pisses all over the wonderful narrative and tension built by the original. Talk about disrespect...
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