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The Five Most Terrifying Pregnancies in Cinema History
Brace yourself for Breaking Dawn.
By Andrew Osborne
Impending parenthood is scary enough, but the real white-knuckle moments are typically associated with the anxieties and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Thus, as a public service to Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's nervous, mopey vam-parents in this week's Breaking Dawn (Part One), we've compiled a list of the five worst-case scenarios to expect when you're expecting. (And no, we didn't include Eraserhead — bonus points for the first commenter to figure out why.)
1. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
The mother of all terrifying pregnancy flicks features Mia Farrow's title character cooped up in a spooky Manhattan apartment building (realistically portrayed by The Dakota, which later achieved infamy as a setting for real-world evil with the murder of John Lennon in 1980). No expectant mother has ever received worse pre-natal care than Farrow's waifish Rosemary, thanks to shady doctors, nosy neighbors, and a regimen of tannis root (a.k.a. "The Devil's Pepper") that results in severe abdominal cramps and an insatiable craving for raw meat. Fortunately, the delivery itself goes smoothly, and little baby Adrian is born healthy (except for his eyes... my God, his eyes). On the downside, he turns out to be the Antichrist.
2. The Fly (1986)
After getting knocked up by Jeff Goldblum's mad scientist "Brundlefly," Geena Davis' expectant mother has more to worry about than whether her little bundle of joy will have the right number of fingers and toes. Instead, she dreams of birthing a giant squirmy larvae with no limbs at all. But perhaps most nightmarish of all is her vision of director David Cronenberg (in a delivery-room cameo) as an obstetrician staring down at her lady bits through a pair of gigantic 1980s eyeglasses.
3. She's Having a Baby (1988)
The pregnancy in this John Hughes romantic dramedy doesn't involve mutants or devil babies. Instead, the film deals with the more commonplace terror of a young father (Kevin Bacon) waiting helplessly for news of his wife's condition after potentially life-threatening complications arise in the delivery room. (And, yes, okay, Bacon's hair is pretty scary, too.)
4. Alien: Resurrection (1997)
The Alien series is notorious for its gooey, violent scenes of newborn critters bursting from the chests of unfortunate humans, but in Resurrection, the extraterrestrials finally get a taste of their own medicine. Having been revived with DNA left over from David Fincher's attempt to murder the franchise with Alien3, an alien queen experiences the pain of human-style live birth — followed instantly by the human-style ingratitude of her newborn mutant spawn (who rips her to shreds after choosing Sigourney Weaver's luckless Ripley as its "real" mother).
5. Children of Men (2006)
Ideally, a pregnant woman should eat well, avoid stress, and maybe get a little exercise now and then. But the childless dystopia of Alfonso Cuarón's near-future London is ideal for exactly no one, least of all Clare-Hope Ashitey's miraculously fertile immigrant. She spends her final trimester running and hiding from anti-immigrant stormtroopers and pro-immigrant revolutionaries, as Clive Owen's cynical reporter does his damnedest to keep her, the unborn baby, and maybe the future of the whole world alive.