What fears of modern society do Rosemary’s Baby and Get Out reflect of their respective time periods?

Both Rosemary's Baby and Get Out are films that explore the issues of control and oppression in modern society, as well as the fear and anxiety the oppressed feel when society tries to control their existence and shape their identity.

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Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 psychological thriller and horror film written and directed by Polish-French film director and writer Roman Polanski. Adapted from Ira Levin's fictional horror novel of the same name, the film tells the story of Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes)—a young couple who are...

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Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 psychological thriller and horror film written and directed by Polish-French film director and writer Roman Polanski. Adapted from Ira Levin's fictional horror novel of the same name, the film tells the story of Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes)—a young couple who are seemingly happily married and are trying for a baby. After moving to New York City, much to the "delight" of their eccentric, strange neighbors, Rosemary becomes pregnant and begins to think that both her husband and her neighbors are actually members of a Satanic cult that intends to use her and her baby for their satanic rituals.

Get Out is a 2016 psychological thriller and horror written and directed by American actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele. Adapted from the cult horror film Night of the Living Dead, Get Out tells the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams)—a young interracial couple who are seemingly in a happy relationship and decide to visit Rose's family home so that Chris can meet Rose's family. After some time, Chris begins to suspect that something is very wrong and realizes that both his girlfriend and her family, as well as several of their white friends, are actually members of a weird cult called the Order of the Coagula, whose main goal is to seek out and brainwash African Americans to transfer their brains into different bodies.

The parallels between the two films are quite obvious (Peele even revealed that Rosemary's Baby was one of the films that inspired him to make Get Out). One of the more interesting facts about the two films is that they're not the classic scary movies the audience is used to seeing; instead, they differ from the typical horror genre and classify more as psychological and social thrillers, as they're both set in the modern world and focus on some of the biggest problems of the modern society—oppression and control.

While Rosemary's Baby showcases the way women are treated or rather mistreated by the patriarchal system, Get Out showcases the struggles Black people face and the microaggressions they deal with nearly every day. Both Rosemary and Chris grow increasingly paranoid and the audience feels and sees their pain.

In the 1960s and 1970s, women in America gained more freedom; as abortion was legalized and the use of contraceptive pills were finally approved by the FDA, women were given the right to choose what they do with their bodies. As a result, conservative and religious institutions and individuals grew angrier by the minute, claiming that these progressive changes destroyed social values and defeated the "purpose" of women. Polanski takes inspiration from this oppressive and sexist mentality and creates a film in which he identifies some of society's opinions on gender, gender roles, and gender identity, as well as the desire of the powerful to control the masses.

Get Out, on the other hand, showcases how racism is still as present today as it was in the past. Peele takes inspiration from the African American experience and the racist behavior of certain communities in the modern world and creates a film in which he reveals society's opinions on race, identity, privacy and control.

Thus, Rosemary's Baby examines sexism and Get Out examines racism—from the perspectives of both the victims and the oppressors, as well as the fear women and black people feel when their identities are suppressed and oppressed.

In an interesting interview conducted by Criterion, Peele says:

[Rosemary’s Baby] is a film about gender; it’s about men making decisions about women’s bodies behind their backs. ... [Rosemary’s and Chris'] identities help them navigate those worlds. Rosemary uses her instincts as a new mother to protect herself and her child. On a subtle level, her personality and point of view are helping her out. And it’s the same with Chris. His blackness is what allows him to perceive that something sinister is going on.

The real "monster" in both films is the oppressive modern society that consciously or unconsciously objectifies people and even takes away their freedom. In Rosemary's Baby we see how it's like to be a woman in a man's world. and in Get Out we see how it's like to be a Black person in a predominantly white environment.

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