Review: Rosemary's Baby (1968)

There aren't many classic horror movies that can actually survive the test of time.  Either the content itself becomes so outdated as to no longer be relevant to today's audience, the actors have faded into obscurity, or (worst of all) the effects are of such an antique nature that you can't really watch them without laughing.
Rosemary's Baby doesn't really suffer from any of these, and while it's still a great movie, it's not THE great movie that I thought it was.  And yes, I really did just see it for the first time a few days ago. 
Technically, it's an absolutely beautiful movie.  It's perfectly directed, well-acted, and the cinematography is gorgeous.  The slow burn of the movie pays off perfectly, and this is the type of movie that Joshua could only wish to be.
It could be that the themes of the movie are simply so passe in the realm of cinema by this point in time, 40 years after its original release.  We all know the basic story - woman gets pregnant, believes it to be the son of the devil, and it turns out to be true.  And it's really not the basic story that drives the film - it's the performance by Mia Farrow that really locks this in as a great film.
All of the necessary plot points are there - the old building with a questionable history, the mysterious neighbors who are too nosy and too knowing, the strange behavior of loved ones experiencing unexplained boons in their career, the strange doctor telling you to "trust no one", and finally the close friend who pays for his compassion with his life.
So why doesn't this film stand the test of time?  Well, it's really not scary anymore, at least not to me.  Perhaps there's a certain level of desensitization that's set in (and I'll openly admit that's probably part of it), but it seems like the idea that a woman could be impregnated by the Devil and give birth to the Antichrist is such a part of our cultural mythos at this point (and we've seen so many variations based on this theme over the past 40 years), that it just doesn't have the emotional impact that it did back in 1968.
I know that Bravo ranked the Satanic rape scene at #23 in it's 100 Scariest Movie Moments, but after watching it the scariest part of it was seeing all the old people naked!  It's still a great scene, but there were a lot of moments higher up in the list that I would have put far above this particular scene.
All in all, the film is definitely one for posterity.  It captures a feeling pervasive to the late 60s and casts it in a manner which encompasses all of the fears of that time into a compelling narrative.  Perhaps the most upsetting scene in the entire film is at the very end, after Rosemary is faced with the fact that she has given birth to the son of the Devil.  She makes a choice, and it is that choice that is perhaps the most haunting in all the movie.