Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Repulsion (1965)

IMDb plot summary: Left alone when her sister goes on vacation, a young beauty finds herself besieged on all sides by the demons of her past.
Directed by Roman Polanski. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux.

(Some general spoilers ahead regarding the basic arc of the plot.)

Hoooooly cow, this was terrifying.

Admittedly, I watched this movie at kind of a weird time in my life. I've been fighting off depression a *lot* this last week, and in the first third of the movie, Catherine Deneuve's withdrawn, timid, clearly very sad and alone main character felt a bit too familiar. I connected with her very quickly and very deeply, and so as she began her descent into mental instability, it was *very* unsettling for me. In the end, it was more "awesome horror movie" unsettling than "made me upset in my soul" unsettling, but it walked a fine line there for a minute.

It's a quiet horror movie. And I appreciate that so much. It's not about cheap jump scares (although it does have a few startling moments). Little moments, like when she's cheerfully ironing her dress with the iron unplugged or the constant shots of the rotting rabbit, just filled me with dread as I realized more and more what her state of mind was.

This, for my vote, is far scarier than Rosemary's Baby, Polanski's most well-known horror film. There's just something about this that is completely terrifying. Probably the best scary film I've seen in a LONG time. 4.5 stars.

Flickchart: #384 out of 1995, below Seven Samurai and above The Great Race.

Rent it on Amazon for $2.99.

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