Review of Repulsion (1965)

Moving picture, 105 minutes

Seen in 2017.

Not scary at any point. The nod to Psycho (1960) is appreciated, but like Hitchcock, Polanski fails to apply credibility to his psychopathology; it’s just a mess here, without even the popularity of Freud’s bullshit to account for the protagonist’s behaviour. The special effects, although amusing in concept, are not well executed, and it makes no sense for a girl weakened by malnutrition and a quasi-fugue state to be able to murder healthy men easily without preparation. The best scenes, apart from the changed rooms, are at the beauty parlour, where the objectification of women is reinforced by women and Carol’s co-workers fail to reach out to her. A disturbing number of fans of this film seem to like it because Catherine Deneuve is beautiful; it would have been more interesting if the actor had looked ordinary.

moving picture fiction