A young couple moves in to 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
A psychological thriller without much of... anything.
This is my third film by Roman Polanski, the others being Chinatown (1974) and Rosemary's Baby (1968) (I barely count Rosemary's Baby (1968) because I remember almost nothing from it). I still have only a very vague idea of his style but thus far, his directing has not disappointed me.
The issues that Repulsion (1965) has are not in the directing, although the pacing could've been better. For me, it's in the screenplay itself. I expected this movie to explore themes like sex, sexism, and other things of this nature. But after seeing it, I don't think this movie actually explored anything. Perhaps it was trying to say something about human nature. Perhaps it was sending a message about men. But I can't help but to think about Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire (1987). My biggest complaint in my review of that film was that it had an interesting concept, but it didn't seem to have anything else. No themes, ideas, or things of that nature. And I think the exact same applies here.
This aside, Repulsion (1987) is a fairly good movie. The acting is good for the most part, the cinematography is great, and the execution of psychological horror is incredible for any decade, let alone the 60's. Very few classic horror films have ever managed to disturb me like they did to the people who saw them in theaters, but this one actually had some good and original scares.
Overall, I'm glad I saw it and I would recommend. I wouldn't, however, consider it a great film.
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