Thursday, 2 December 2010

Review on Repulsion

Review on Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion 1965

The girl from this film named Carol is secretive and paranoid which when left alone eventually turns to murder. Cracks keep appearing in the walls which are imagined by Carol. These cracks could symbolize her mind slowly falling apart as she is left alone in her home. This is mentioned in a review on Film4 'Polanski's mise-en-scene cleverly mirrors the heroine's psychotic breakdown, becoming increasingly claustrophobic as the walls of the flat close in on her and cracks appear.' (Film4, 1965) A dead skinned rabbit on a plate is seen a few times in its stages of rot. This could symbolize the deterioration of Carol's mind, what was once stable is now becoming lost and decomposed as Carol sinks deeper into her fears. Kim Newman also expresses this in a review on Empire. 'When Carol retreats to a cavernous Earls Court flat, Polanski terrifyingly depicts her hallucinations – clutching hands which reach through the walls – and parallels the decay of her mind with the rotting of a rabbit she intended to cook but has just left out on the sideboard.' (Newman, 2010) 
 Appearing Cracks

It all starts when her sister leaves to go on holiday, she starts losing her mind and fears to see her boy friend. Her imagination grows more intense the longer she is left alone. She is eventually lost to fear and paranoia and ends up killing her boyfriend and landlord. Its almost predictable when she picks up a brass ornament and a feel of anticipation and suspense to whether or not she will kill him with the brass ornament held in one hand and her boyfriend talking to her. A review on Time agrees about the anticipation build up to murder. 'The real and the unreal merge, and soon her human victims appear. The first is a suitor (John Fraser) whose conventional acts of gallantry lead to a gruesome end. Later an indignant landlord (played with mordant, bumbling humor by Patrick Wymark) comes to collect his rent and lingers to try his luck. Right up to the grisly climax, the audience seldom wonders what will happen, but endures agonies as to how and when.' (Time, 1965)

          Build up to Murder

List of illustrations

Figure 1. Polanski, Roman (1965) Repulsion [Film Poster] At: (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)
Figure 2. Polanski, Roman (1965) Appearing Cracks [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)
Figure 3. Polanski, Roman (1965) Build up to Murder [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)


Film4 (1965) Repulsion. (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)
Newman, Kim (2010) Review of Repulsion. (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)
Time (1965) Cinema: A Maiden Berserk.,9171,842218,00.html (Accessed on: 02.12.2010)


  1. Katy - I wonder what you thought of this film personally? It's not an easy watch obviously - let me know - but it's great that you sought out this film and watched it - I do like my first years to show initiative! :D

    - but did you jump when you see the reflection of the man in the mirror?

  2. When I watched it I didn't know what to expect, all I knew is that it was a horror. The man in the mirror didn't make me jump, think its because of all the weird things happening before it. It might of if it was the first thing seen. Some of the cracks in the walls were a little startling, especially the big one that is shown on my review. It just appeared really quick and I didn't expect it. Its a weird film, especially Carol. Even though she didn't speak much I could see what her intentions were at some parts in the film. It was better than The Haunting.