A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
In London, Belgian immigrant Carol Ledoux shares an apartment with her older sister Helen, and works as a manicurist at a beauty salon. Helen uses the word "sensitive" to describe Carol's overall demeanor, which is almost like she walks around in a daze, rarely speaking up about anything. When she does speak up, it generally is about something against one of those few issues on which she obsesses, such as Helen's boyfriend Michael's invasion of her space at the apartment. That specific issue may be more about men in general than just Michael's actions, as witnessed by Carol being agitated by hearing Helen and Michael's lovemaking, and she not being able to rebuff the advances effectively of a male suitor, Colin, who is infatuated with her. One of those other obsessive issues is noticing cracks and always wanting to fix them. While Helen and Michael leave on a vacation to Pisa, Italy, Carol chooses largely to lock herself in the apartment, ditching work. There, she is almost hypnotized... Written by
Catherine Deneuve suffers from an industrial-strength case of sexual repression
In "Repulsion" the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve suffers from an industrial-strength case of sexual repression, coupled with a hefty dose of sibling rivalry which foists upon her a succession of rape fantasies and delusional hallucinations. Polanski's direction is unparalleled as he elicits a creepy terror through the use of some fairly unconventional special-effects. The subjective world created for the heroine is a series of dreams and visions of a decaying apartment and psycho-sexual fantasy and this is what the film seems to be about. The cracking walls are perhaps one of the most ingeniously horrifying special-effects in cinematic history. The lack of dialogue that runs throughout complements the restrained narrative design as the neurotic obsessions remain largely unexplained. But for better or for worse, I think better, Polanski's final frame settles on an image which cryptically resolves the entire enigma with a kind of devastating efficiency. All in all, one of the great films of the 1960s.
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