Film, Horror
A still from the film Repulsion of a young woman laying on the floor holding a phone

Time Out says

Still perhaps Polanski's most perfectly realised film, a stunning portrait of the disintegration, mental and emotional, of a shy young Belgian girl (Deneuve) living in London. When she's left alone by her sister in their Kensington flat, she becomes reclusive and retreats into a terrifying world of fantasies and nightmares which find murderous physical expression when she is visited by a would-be boyfriend (Fraser) and her leering landlord (Wymark). Polanski employs a host of wonderfully integrated visual and aural effects to suggest the inner torment Deneuve suffers: cracks in pavements, hands groping from walls, shadows under doors, rotting skinned rabbits, and - as in Rosemary's Baby - the eerie, ever-present sound of someone practising scales on a piano. And despite the fact that the girl's manically destructive actions derive from a terror of sexual contact, Polanski never turns his film into a misogynist binge: the men she meets are far from sympathetically portrayed, and we are led to understand her fear and revulsion by the surreal expressionism used to portray her mental state. All in all, one of the most intelligent horror movies ever made, and certainly one of the most frighteningly effective.

By: GA


Release details

104 mins

Cast and crew

Roman Polanski
Gérard Brach, Roman Polanski
Renee Houston
Catherine Deneuve
Yvonne Furneaux
Ian Hendry
Helen Fraser
John Fraser
James Villiers
Valerie Taylor
Patrick Wymark
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