Thoughts from the Ledge on horror director Roman Polanski

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Repulsion – Courtesy of Compton Films, Tekli British Productions

Repulsion (1965)

I saw this movie when I was in college and the imagery was disturbing to say the least. In addition to directing this film, Polanski also wrote the script along with his frequent collaborator, Gerard Brach. The story centers on Carol (Catherine Deneuve) who lives in London with her sister.

Everything appears normal except Carol happens to be repulsed by sexuality. Even though she has a boyfriend, she has no interest in doing the horizontal mambo. She is particularly disgusted by her sister’s lover who is a married man.

While her sister is on holiday with her lover, Carol has a hellish time. She begins hallucinating that the walls in her flat are trying to molest her. When her concerned boyfriend, Colin shows up, she thrashes him with a candlestick killing him!

Talk about poor timing, the landlord shows up to collect the rent and attempts to molest her. Carol slices him to bits with a razor. When her sister returns with her lover from their trip, she finds Carol in a catatonic state. In the end, she gets taken away to a mental hospital.

This is psychological horror at its finest hour. The script evokes Hitchcock and is steeped in frustrated sexual undertones. Deneuve is utterly convincing as a woman who mentally unravels. This is a terrifying exercise and directed to perfection by Polanski.