Essay: ‘Can we come in?’

Intrusion and madness in Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and Mother! (2017)

The Devil cannot enter your home unless you invite him, says the mythos. But, Satan can make sure he gets invited. The same goes for the nosy neighbor, who can be an unwanted presence too. At first sight it might seem quite a stretch to compare the Prince of Darkness with unwanted guests in your house, but when watching Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Roman Polanski) and Mother! (2017, Darren Aronofsky) there seems to be a close connection between the two. Central in these two films is the invasion of the personal space and with that the alienation within a family. There is a lot else to be said about these films, but in this article I will focus on the relation between the status of the female protagonist, madness and the evil coming from outside.

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Written for the course Madness, Media & Contemporary Media by Patricia Pisters, MA Film Studies, UvA.