The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.

Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.

For Day 7, the two films in the competition each attempted to mix genres together. Whether it is the supernatural horror mixed with psychological thriller that Rosemary’s Baby provides or the Science Fiction blended with Horror that Astro Zombies attempts, both film tried new things in the realm of horror.

Rosemary’s Baby

A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth.

The supernatural, metaphysical and psychological forms of horror all combine to tell the story of Rosemary and her harrowing pregnancy. There are some sublimely scary moments throughout this film and several reasons it would be on a list like this.

Pros

Amazing cinematography. The scene where Rosemary gets pregnant is haunting, disturbing and beautifully shot to give the viewer a sense of otherworldly horror.

The horror comes from the strength of the performances, specifically Mia Farrow.

The good natured, affable and ever present neighbors adds a more chilling dynamic as Rosemary realizes there is no one she can trust.

Polanski and Farrow expertly tap into the paranoia of Rosemary and every scene pushes that paranoia a little further.

The ending is fantastic and, like the best films in the genre, leaves it to the imagination of the viewer to craft their own horrors in their mind.

Cons

Not enough supernatural elements. The ones that are there are great, but there aren’t enough.

Guy is such a weak character that I could never understand why Rosemary married him in the first place.

Can be slow moving at times and the pace makes you want to scream at Rosemary for her passivity.

Astro Zombies

Foreign interests and a federal agent (Wendell Corey) seek a mad doctor (John Carradine) who makes mutilator zombies in his basement.

Astro Zombies tries to do a lot in its run time. It tries to introduce elements of the supernatural, science fiction and spy thriller with a pseudo-Frankenstein style lead character in Dr. DeMarco.

Pros

The campy humor of the film.

Dr. DeMarco is delightfully weird and Carradine plays him as such.

Cons

Not scary in the slightest. In fact, most of the film is cringe-worthy.

A weird premise that never gets to the point. It doesn’t know what it wants to be ultimately and can’t decide what to do next.

I am willing to bet that whole parts of the script were written on the day of filming because so much of the movie is a jumbled mess.

There is literally no doubt which film out of these two was the scariest. The winner is most definitely….

Rosemary’s Baby

Have you seen Rosemary’s Baby? Do you disagree with my assessment of Astro Zombies? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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