Sunday Feature-Week 10: Repulsion (1965)

Title: Repulsion

Tone: Masterful, Claustrophobic, Psychological-thriller


Director-Roman Polanski

Cast- Catherine Deneuve

When: 1964

What: Carol, a paranoid-androphobic, is left alone when her sister leaves on a holiday and submerges into an alarmingly deep and lurid psychosis.


  • What better way to kickoff “March Madness” than with one of the finest depictions of psychosis on film, Roman Polanski’s exquisite 1965 thriller Repulsion.
  • Repulsion is the first in Polanskis “Apartment Trilogy” (followed by Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant ) all which take place in apartments and examine the nature of paranoia, alienation, and neurosis. Of the three films, I find Repulsion to be the most engaging/unsettling as it contains the most plausible scenario in the trilogy. Furthermore, the look of the film is much grittier than most of Polanski’s films which creates disorienting sense of realism.
  • Whereas most modern suspense/horror films substitute suspense with computer-generated effects, fast paced editing, and lots of sporadically placed loud noises; Repulsion stands as a testament to classic suspense/horror, wherein the audience is allowed to fully digest the images onscreen, careful attention is paid to establishing a strong atmosphere, and the pay-off is profoundly more gratifying than something merely making you jump.
  • Polanski often manipulates mise-en-scene in simple yet highly effective ways to portray the inner-workings of his main characters, Repulsion is quite possibly the best example of Polanski’s ability to do this. Throughout the film the perspective slowly shifts from an outside observer’s to the perspective of the main character. Below is an excellent example of Polanski masterfully shifting from one perspective to the other, enjoy!


~ by cinematte on March 7, 2010.

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