Left alone when her sister goes on vacation a sexually repressed young beauty goes insane with surreal fantasies of seduction and rape Studio: E1 Entertainment Release Date: 03/08/2005 Starring: Catherine Deneuve
M. Williamson | Burbank, CA United States | 03/13/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Don't buy this. Seriously. Someone is bound to release a better version. This is PAN AND SCAN, cropped at 1:33, and seems to be transferred from some sort of used tape...Like a 3/4 inch VHS. There are visible tape flutters and wrinkles throughout the film. And no it's NOT the print. The film is fine. It's the transfer. cheap, cheap, cheap.
The compression is abysmal (notice the obvious scan lines on the titles) and the sound is piss poor. How is it possible this is the only way this film is available in the US? Disgraceful."
Superb--and Terrifying--Psychological Examination
professionalhomo | San Diego, CA | 03/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roman Polanski's first English language film, made three years following the international acclaim for "Knife in the Water" and three years before his American masterpiece "Rosemary's Baby," is a marvelous dissection of paranoia and sexual psychosis amidst contemporary culture, with a phenomenally subtle, moving performance by Catherine Deneuve and camerawork so coldly precise that the horror seems to bloom naturally from the mundane landscape of the film. Deneuve plays Carole Ledoux, a Belgian beautician who lives in London with her frivolous sister. When the sister and her married boyfriend leave to vacation together in Italy, Carole begins to isolate herself in her apartment in a sexual and violent frenzy. The movie becomes more and more subjective as Polanski plunges into Carole's mind and her psychoses, but what's stunning about Polanski's dissection of Carole's consciousness is the way that the director moves so brusquely from an objective perspective into his protagonist's fears without bluntly heralding the transition. We've already become part of Carole's awareness before we realize it. In this sense, "Repulsion" mirrors both Luis Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" and "Un Chien Andalou" in its precise, logical progression that expresses what is in fact illogical. The movie never feels like it's caught up in dream logic whatsoever--it's all starkly real and flat, until the scene reveals itself to be a subjective or illusory perception. This idea that Polanski can thrust us into the mind of his protagonist before we're ever really aware of the fact that we're in a subjective reality becomes more and more frightening as the film progresses, making us complicit in the camera's perspective. Terrifying, too, is Deneuve's ability to make us both afraid of Carole and for her; because Polanski and Deneuve craft Carole as an aggressor who perceives herself as a victim, "Repulsion" forces us (indeed, right into its final frame) to reevaluate our relation to Carole and renders our position as spectators horrifyingly uneasy. Polanski didn't match this kind of expert craftsmanship until 1974 in "Chinatown"--itself one of the two or three greatest films ever made."
The definitive psychological horror film
cardinals4ever | KY, USA | 04/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Repulsion is the mother of all psychological horror movies.Catherine Deneuve's performance is remarkable.Don't expect "halloween" type scares from this movie.This is about a beautiful young woman who slowly loses her mind after her sister goes away on a trip for a few days.The horror of this movie comes from the cracks on the wall,cracks in the pavement,and a rabbit.So if you are a big "scream" fan this probably isnt for you.I'm also a fan of the "halloween" type horror genre,but i've noticed many other fans of that kind just dont seem to understand what psychological horror movies are all about.Therefore they might find repulsion unwatchable...probably for the same reasons I can watch it over and over.To be simple,if you're looking for cheap scares stay far away from repulsion.But if you want the most amazing psychological horror movie of all time then repulsion is for you.Besides, watching a stunningly beautiful Catherine Deneuve slowly lose it and do some shocking things is pretty easy on the eyes.I rank repulsion as my #1 all time horror movie."
IT should be noted
Mark C. | Seattle, WA United States | 07/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"that all the negative reviews-ie reviews previous to say July 15, 2009 (review copies) should be disregarded-those are for the POS edition July 28 Criterion are releasing and edition which should garner mostly 4-5 stars ratings"
A cinematic masterpiece.
Penguin Egg | London, England | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film charts the slow descent of a French girl, Carol, played by Catherine Deneuve, into madness and horror. The acting in this film is superb, and especially by Deneuve, who brings to her part a delicate balance of vulnerability and strangeness. Right from the start, there is a sense that this beautiful, introverted, seemingly harmless girl, is not 'quite all there.' Give her a slight push, and she will tumble into total madness. As a performance, it is reminiscent of Anthony Perkins in Psycho.The camera is on Carol all the time, and we see events unfold through her paranoid and schizophrenic mind. We feel her isolation. The mundane is amplified -the ticking of a clock, the sounds of the street outside, the toiling of the bell from the next door nunnery-and made to seem menacing. She is dependant on her sister to such an extent that when her sister goes to Italy on holiday, leaving her alone, she loses her lifeline on which to grasp for human contact. Her isolation is so intense that other people become a threat. Those who are a menace to her, such as her landlord, are treated in the same manner as those who wish her well, such as her boy friend. She can no longer tell the difference. The madness in her mind is made manifest on the screen: Huge cracks appear in the wall symbolising the cracks appearing in her mind. Hands come out of the wall and touch her. Her nightmares torment her with physical contact of men, the one thing that horrifies her, and which are made utterly believable by the vagueness of the camerawork and the silence on the soundtrack-how very much like a real nightmare. The structure of the film is marvellous, as is the cinematography. There is not a shot or a frame wasted as every scene, every shot, builds up to show Carol's loosening grasp of reality. One of the greatest films of the 20th Century. On every level, this film not only works, but works brilliantly. Roman Polanski is a genius, and this film is his cinematic masterpiece."