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Genetic Linkage

Hulu’s False Positive Misses the Mark in Evoking Rosemary’s Baby

I looked forward to Hulu's original horror film False Positive, pitched as a modern-day Rosemary's Baby. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival June 18.


Ilana Glaser of Broad City fame wrote the screenplay and stars as pregnant protagonist Lucy. Although the film cherrypicks memorable scenes from its predecessor, it nonetheless fails on several levels. The most obvious gaffe is the title: Lucy conceives, so there's no false positive! The new film offends in many ways, but for me the ultimate explanation – spoiler alert ahead – which was "ripped from the headlines," hit a little too close to home.


Rosemary's Baby


Ira Levin published the spellbindingly original Rosemary's Baby in 1967. The film came out a year later, starring Mia Farrow. Levin went on to tackle dystopia, writing 1972's The Stepford Wives and in 1976, envisioning the cloned Nazis of The Boys from Brazil.


Protagonist Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy have just moved into a monstrous apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that is actually the Dakota, the site of John Lennon's shooting in 1980. Guy is a struggling actor whose luck begins to turn when he befriends creepy neighbors Minnie and Roman Castevet. In an oddly vivid nightmare, Rosemary is raped by a monster with gleaming yellow eyes, and the next morning, she awakens to see claw marks on her skin. Soon after, she learns she's pregnant.


To continue reading, go to my DNA Science blog, where this post first appeared.

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