Billie Lourd reworks Rosemary’s baby
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for American Horror Stories Season 1, Episode 5, “BA’AL”, now streaming on Hulu.
the american horror story The franchise has referenced and reworked classic horror tropes over the past decade in many ways, and that includes direct references to past scary movies, books, shows, and more. For example, American Horror Story: 1984 tell his Friday 13 inspired season while American Horror Story: Murder House tributes Rosemary baby and The omen. American Horror Stories, the spin-off anthology series, continues this trend, as episode 3, “Drive-In,” connected its villain to The Exorcist, and now, episode 5, “BA’AL”, reinvents Rosemary baby in multiple ways.
With the episode’s antagonist, Matt (Ronen Rubinstein), being similar to Rosemary’s husband – Guy, Liv (Billie Lourd) remixes Rosemary and her relationship to the supernatural. For example, Guy makes a deal with their elderly neighbors to allow Satan to rape and imbue Rosemary in return for fame and success. Rosemary is unaware of this paranormal deal and wants nothing to do with the occult throughout Rosemary baby; however, Liv actively pursues the supernatural.
It appears that Liv and Matt are struggling to conceive; however, it is because Matt sabotages their attempts to get pregnant. It was to keep Liv at her wit’s end, so when their doctor’s secretary gave her an occult totem purported to honor a fertility deity, she took it. Liv accepts this figure – which later turns out to be wrong – and puts it under her bed, hoping it would finally lead to successful conception the next time they have sex.
The two then experience their own nightmares, where their husbands ignite them with gas to the point of mentally breaking them. For the most part, Rosemary and Liv’s reaction to this is similar, as they know something is wrong but can’t find anyone to help them. However, where Rosemary seeks help beyond the supernatural, hoping to get away from this world, Liv dives deeper into the occult, returning to the secretary and agreeing to a banishing ritual from her.
This ritual is also bogus, as is everything supernatural to Liv so far, thanks to Matt and his friends staging it in hopes of exploiting his trauma for fame. It also forces Liv to stab Matt, so she’s institutionalized until a trial can determine what her fate will be. Meanwhile, Rosemary is the victim of true supernatural events, and instead of being sent to a mental institution or prison, she becomes the prisoner of her own home.
After Rosemary’s baby is born, the clan behind it all takes her as their own, but they still need Rosemary to play the role of mother. While this isn’t the life Rosemary wanted for her and her child, she also doesn’t want to abandon her baby to these people and her abusive husband. With no other options for Rosemary and her baby, she is forced to be a part of this new life, depriving her of her freedom and condemning her to further manipulation and torment from these people.
Where the occult hurts and condemns Rosemary, Liv finds liberation there. During her imprisonment, she performs the banishing ritual again, and while the secretary thought it was a fake, she was partly wrong. Yes, it was not a banishing ritual, but it is a true summoning ritual, giving Liv control of a powerful demon.
Rosemary couldn’t get revenge on her attackers, but Liv and her demon do, with the demon chasing Matt and his friends. He kills everyone except Matt, who reveals what he did to Liv, freeing her from her imprisonment. The murders are also blamed on him, as Liv is now able to deny his experience.
To take it one step further, Liv doesn’t just use the occult to save herself and baby; she kisses him fully. Unlike Rosemary, who has no say in what Satan does, Liv has complete control over her demon through the ritual, and even after taking care of Matt and his friends, Liv does not. not finished with him. She promises to release him if he gives her another baby.
Rosemary and Liv are both victims of abusive husbands who somehow use the supernatural to torment them. It also leads to the conception of their children, with husbands having a blatant disregard for the safety of their wives. Despite these similarities, Liv distorts Rosemary’s relationship with the occult, embracing her fully, taking revenge on her abusers, and consensually sleeping with a demon in the hope of her second child.
it is not the first time American Horror Stories or AHS has reworked classic cinema, and it probably won’t be the last, with new episodes of the former airing on Hulu Thursdays and the latter featuring its tenth season – Dual functionality – August 25, 2021 on FX.
KEEP READING: American Horror Stories Season 1, Episode 4, “The Naughty List,” Recap & Spoilers
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