Rosemary’s Baby isn’t something most moms would think of watching for Mother’s Day, but NBC felt that the 1968 Roman Polanski classic needed to remade. They also felt that the bloody four-hour adaptation should be aired on in accordance with Mother’s Day for some strange reason.
The original film, starring Mia Farrow as the unfortunate Rosemary, was based on Ira Levin’s bestselling book, a move which he later regretted. Levin, who died in 2007, told the Los Angeles Times in 2002 that he felt “guilty” because he believed it had led to other scary films like The Omen and The Exorcist and had possibly caused more people to consider Satan a reality.
The updated tale of Rosemary and her devilish spawn has moved to Paris for the new version. It stars Zoe Saldana in the lead role, who also happens to be the miniseries’ producer. The update promised to be a great modern take on the classic horror story, and Saldana was prepared for the inevitable onslaught of loyalists.
“Of course you’re going to be a little afraid, but once you realize that, overall, every time you remake something or redo something or retell something, it’s never going to be accepted by everybody, you just remove that pressure off the table,” she said. “If you don’t like the new, just respect the fact that it was a bold decision, it took a great amount of wit and ‘cajones,’ and go back to your classic. It’s okay! You’re not being disloyal. You’re just watching new things.”
However, critics weren’t so kind as to offer Saldana congratulations on her cajones. In fact, many reviews were quite stinging.
For example, USA Today‘s Robert Blanco calls the remake simply “ill-advised”. He says that it “in no way measures up to the 1968 classic.” Blanco begins his scathing review by saying, “You don’t have to know the old Rosemary’s Baby to hate the new one, but it helps.” He gave it only one-and-a-half stars out of four.
James Poniewozik of Time said the pregnancy-horror story was “laborious.” He claims “the greater problem is Rosemary and Guy, who are as anesthetically generic as a couple in a credit-card commercial,” adding that there is “little connection between Saldana and Adams.”
NPR’s Fresh Air critic David Bianculli called the miniseries “dreadful”. He stated, “To be honest, I’m not sure why NBC has remade this at all.”
What did you think of the daring remake?
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