There seems to be a new fascination developing about the possibility of a newborn baby being the spawn of evil rather than from heaven above. Perhaps we all wonder about that in reality when we have children, even after the long history of movies dealing with the same fictional theme. While 1950s movies like “The Bad Seed” dealt with the possibility of acquired evil in children once out of their innocent infancy, the thought of having the evil instilled at birth through supernatural means became the secret ingredient for scaring people out of their gourd. You have to give credit to Roman Polanski’s original “Rosemary’s Baby” for instilling people with the idea.
With the irony of the above film being remade as an NBC miniseries recently, what does it tell us that another film with a similar plot is now being released in theaters? The film “Delivery” now takes us to a slightly hipper version of the story and placing the arc of the plot around a reality show tracking the birth of a family’s first child.
If you think the above plot idea sounds like it could make the film look outdated 40 years from now, you’re probably right. Any gimmicky film showcasing something trendy in the current time is going to look painfully out of date in the indefinite future and make it easy to mock. No matter if you hate the premise of “Rosemary’s Baby”, it had enough elements to make it timeless and hold up to viewings today. Even the NBC remake didn’t do anything to make it look overly trendy, other than being obvious it takes place in 2014.
Is there a real fear now about the generation currently being born and how they’ll turn out? It could help explain why movies and projects about babies as the spawn of evil are suddenly becoming in vogue again as a form of catharsis.
The Uncertainties of the Future
All movie genres that suddenly catch on seem to contain numerous elements that show us the psyche of the American and international public. All of the increasingly graphic horror movies of the last 20 years possibly tell us that we want to be scared to death so we can prepare ourselves for when the real scary things happen in one’s life. Going to a graphic horror movie is equivalent to taking on a serial killer right in the same room. And after this exhaustive psychoanalysis trip, we suddenly feel better about our own lives while feeling like we can take on anything.
Someone should do a thorough psychoanalysis on how many people have been able to cope easier with major problems (like natural disasters) due to watching movies about other people trying to survive.
Those having children now may be facing the same apprehensions about the future. What would we do if we found out our own children turned out to be evil incarnate when they grow up? Even worse, how would we react if we found out that the evil was directly from the underworld, whatever that represents? While we might think what’s happening is more subjective and due to the environment rather than something supernatural, it might bring the same debate into the real world. What kind of environment will children being born now have in the world that keeps them from turning into the worst examples of the Bad Seed? Also, with the world’s natural environment seemingly falling apart, the methods of survival might mean going beyond the realm of ethics.
That very fear of the children of today being victims of their environment decades down the line may give some fuel to seeing an infant baby being possessed by evil in a movie as the worst nightmare. After all, seeing the “Rosemary’s Baby” remake and “Delivery” back to back gives indication there’s going to be two children in the world with evil blood roaming around the planet. Imagining a reality show tracking it all also brings the worst possible future scenario.
All of this sudden fascination with evil incarnate babies will probably pass eventually as we do with other movie genres that help us and then bore us. The gory horror movie may be waning slightly now that we’ve seen everything and steeled ourselves to the worst possible calamities. The revisiting of “Rosemary’s Baby” and similar plot ideas are helping us get ready for the possibility of our next generation not being who we hope they’ll be.
Then again, it also gives hope they will be, especially when the above movies inspire you to do everything you can to make sure they get the best possible upbringing. As “Rosemary’s Baby” taught everybody, be sure to vet your neighbors before raising your children in a particular environment you’ll be living in for years.