American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" is a brooding, macabre film, filled with the sense of unthinkable danger. Strangely enough it also has an eerie sense of humor almost until the end. It is a creepy film and a crawly film, and a film filled with things that go bump in the night. It is very good.
As everyone must have heard by now, the movie is based on Ira Levin's novel about modern-day witches and demons. But it is much more than just a suspense story; the brilliance of the film comes more from Polanski's direction, and from a series of genuinely inspired performances, than from the original story.
For this reason, the effectiveness of "Rosemary's Baby" is not at all diminished if you've read the book. How the story turns out, and who (or what) Rosemary's baby really is, hardly matters. The film doesn't depend on a shock ending for its impact.
Although I haven't read Levin's novel, I'm informed that he works in the conventional suspense mode. We meet Rosemary and her husband and the couple next door. We identify with Rosemary during her pregnancy, sharing her doubts and fears, But when the ending comes, I'm told, it is an altogether unexpected surprise.