repulsion_5Starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Yvonne Furneaux, Patrick Wymark, Renee Houston, Valerie Taylor, James Villiers

Directed by Roman Polanski

Expectations: Moderate.


Repulsion was Roman Polanski’s first English-language film (and second film overall), and boy is it a strange one. If you were to classify it, you’d label it as a psychological thriller, but it’s a thriller so slowly paced that many will never make it past the first half of the film and into the part where that thrilling psychological horror takes hold. Although, if you’re watching this one it’s pretty safe to assume you’re “into film” and didn’t rent it randomly because “it looked good,” so it’s probably safe to assume very few are shutting this one off mid-film.

Repulsion opens with a tight close-up of an eyeball, the film’s credits drifting over its surface. As the sequence goes on, the eyeball darts from side to side, foreshadowing the paranoia that our main character Carol experiences. Carol moves through life as if she’s asleep, seemingly daydreaming and making no real connection to the world around her. She is especially repulsed by men and their advances towards her, which in her eyes are constant and neverending. This causes her an incredible amount of distress, and Polanski builds from there.

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