Thursday, November 1, 2012
I love scary movies in general, but around this time of year it just feels appropriate. We all know that Roman Polanski is the master of dark, unsettling films that tend to linger in the back of your mind for a few days after you watch it. After watching Rosemary's Baby for the first time last Halloween, I decided to continue the tradition of creepy Polanski films and watched one of his classics, the psychological horror film Repulsion. Released in 1965 and starring Catherine Deneuve Repulsion follows the story of a young girl living with her sister in London who descends into madness, leading to a series of delusions and finally murder.
Deneuve's Carol is a painfully shy and withdrawn woman who has an increasingly severe paranoia/fear of sex and men. Carol's crippling fear is juxtaposed with her pure aesthetic and the perpetual ringing of church bells nearby. When her sister goes on vacation with her boyfriend, she is left her alone in their apartment accompanied only by her weakening mental state and the rotting carcass of a skinned rabbit intended to be dinner, that Carol just leaves to sit in the living room. Carol gradually goes insane, experiencing hallucinations of rape, men lurking in her apartment, and shape-shifting walls. She barricades herself in the apartment as a mechanism of protection and threatens the life of anyone who dares to disrupt her personal confinement.
The story is slow to develop- but that makes it all the more creepy. When you watch this movie, you really feel like you're witnessing the unraveling of someone's sanity first hand. Its almost as if Polanski intended that the audience be confined to the apartment with Carol, giving us this voyeuristic, suffocation of an experience. Despite being released over fifty years ago, the movie's horror factor still holds up. I definitely recommend watching this film.