Repulsion review

Figure 1: Poster (1965) 

Repulsion(1965) is Roman Polanski's psychological thriller. The film has a very interesting subject matter, Carol(Catherine Deneuve) is a woman repulsed by all men. She seems to be shy and introverted and can only really communicate well with her sister (Yvonne Furneaux).
Figure 2: The walls are alive (1965) 

It is interesting to note that Carol creates "a nightmare for herself which escalates into agoraphobia"(Bradshaw, 2013) Psychologically speaking it makes sense that she would begin killing men close to her, this is because she fears if she doesn't she will end up in a situation that she cannot get herself out of. When Carol kills Colin (John Fraser) it shows her refusal to accept the male gender regardless of how kind they are or if their intention however misguided are good. For some spectators Carol's hatred for the males gender seems to be reason less and out of spite or a personal grudge, the film makes you believe that she was hurt by a man who traumatized her.

The spectator finds that "distortions in the rooms of the apartment tacitly reveal her mental state" (Crowther,1965), this makes the film feel more like a Psychological horror and forces the spectator to question reality. The film becomes very surreal towards the end, this has the effect to leave the spectator with more questions than answers. Carol's sister seems to be the only thing sprees in Carol's fears, this is shown by the fact that when her sister leaves the house she begins to fall apart. This shows Carol's dependence to her sister.
Figure 3: Crack in the wall (1965) 

Some answers to Carol's mental state are shown in the transformation of how the set design is quick and filled with jump scares. "Polanski employs a host of wonderfully integrated visual and aural effects to suggest the inner torment Deneuve suffers" (GA, 2008). Her suffering is not very obvious in this film with the exception being the repeated rape scenes in which the sound is removed to make the scenes difficult to watch. The lack of sound in this scene perfectly reflects how disturbing the scene is. The film gives what seems to be an answer to a question at the end of the film when it shows the family portrait.

Illustrations list 

Figure. 1. Repulsion  poster, (c.1965) [poster] At: (accessed on 1/12/2014) 

Figure. 2. The walls are alive . (1965). From: Repulsion , Directed by: Roman Polanski[Film still]. At: on 1/12/2014)

Figure. 3. Crack in the wall. (1965). From: Repulsion , Directed by: Roman Polanski [Film still]. At: (accessed on 1/12/2014)


Bradshaw, P . (2013).Repulsion review. At: (accessed on 01/12/2014)

Crowther, B. 1965. Repulsion movie review. At: (accessed on 01/12/2014)

GA, (2008). Repulsion review .At: (accessed on 01/12/2014)


  1. Hi Ryan,

    You have integrated the quotes well in this review :)

    I think your final sentence could have done with a bit more of an explanation - your reader is left wondering what was so special about the family portrait.
    This sentence here does not make sense - '. Carol's sister seems to be the only thing sprees in Carol's fears'... I'm not quite sure what you meant here...


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