Repulsion (1965) Classic Review

Certificate: 18

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser 

Genre: Horror, Drama

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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A Belgian girl, Carol, works as a manicurist at a London beauty salon. While having lunch, a good looking young man, Colin, spots her and makes a date for another evening. She shares a flat with her sister Helen. Her sister’s married lover, Michael, brings out her dislike of men which she cannot explain to Colin. Michael takes Helen abroad for a holiday. Left alone in their flat, Carol’s moments of catalepsy and hallucination increase and deepen into madness. – From IMDB

Just a quick one today to talk about horror/thriller ‘Repulsion.’ I have recently discovered a strange love of films that were released roughly between the mid sixties to mid seventies. There are a lot of bizarre films that cam out during this period. A lot of them trippy, and weirdly sexualised. Repulsion is one of those films. And while it may not be an outright horror, there are very few of the classic jump scares and little to know blood or violence, the whole film is definitely unsettling and watching it can make the audience feel very uncomfortable.

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While at the same time the film manages to maintain an ethereal, almost dreamlike quality, especially in the way that it shoots and lights Carol. Catherine Deneuve really is the main focus of the film, with every other character having only a little too add to the story as a whole, and after the halfway point, there are very little appearances by other characters at all. So Deneuve’s performance has to be as captivating as possible, in order for us not to lose interest. Luckily she pulls it off easily. Unfortunately though, while she is the main focus of the film, we learn very little about her, she is a very passive character and by her personality alone, is a pretty boring person to watch do basically nothing for the first half of the film.

That first half of the film really is the problem for me. While it is important to set up the events that happen later, almost nothing happens at all. We just follow Carol as she goes around in he own little world and slowly infuriates everyone around her. I was glad I stuck with the film once we got to the second half and the interesting stuff started to happen, but it was a hell of a struggle to stick with it until then.

If you want to check this one out for yourself, ‘Repulsion’ is available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime

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