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A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
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. Written by
Sometimes not saying anything in a horror movie, and letting a character lose his/her mind in a setting can really get the goosebumps going, more so than with the recent 'shockers' of late that all seem to take place within a haunted house or have some kind of ghostly secret. The most frightening thing about Repulsion, Roman Polanski's first film in English (and filmed in England) is that everything that can terrify the audience is within the lead character's mind. In this case, the young Catherine Deneuve plays Carole, a part-time manicurist who spends most of her time inside of her apartment she shares with her sister. Polanski piles on the atmosphere like fudge on a sundae- we literally get thrust inside of her mind as she goes into this down-ward spiral.
It would be one thing if the film was a great success just because of Polanski's tricks with adding true fear into the audience, but Deneuve is a big factor in this too. It may be a triumph of under-acting, or even over-acting from a point of view. All through the movie she plays her paranoia and sexual frustration (if not repression) almost like a kind of doll, following orders we can't quite understand. Sometimes she interacts or sees things that are strange (i.e. a cooked and eaten rabbit; the cracks in the walls springing up), but then as the film winds into its climax, she becomes perfected into this kind of traumatized, crazed creature. She is a beautiful person who plays a not too beautiful being, but she somehow pulls it off, even better than in her role in Belle du Jour. Bottom line, if you're tired of getting disappointed with the latest horror films where unexplained phenomena in a house terrorize its main character(s), take a look at this film and see if it will leave you when you're finished with it. A+
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