Entertainment Weekly - 03/10/1995
"...[Deneuve is] heart-stoppingly gorgeous....Chilly alienation." -- Rating: A
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/03/1997
"...Polanski ups the horror ante with stylish, Hitchcockian filmmaking that makes the most of shadow and nuance and is chock-full of symbolism and subtext..."
USA Today - 02/24/1995
"...An all-time chiller..."
A.V. Club - 07/22/2009
"Polanski uses all his tricks to convey Deneuve's increasing disconnect from the world, from striking visuals...to a sound design that rivals that of Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING for sheer, skin-crawling unpleasantness." -- Grade: A
Total Film - 12/13/2012
"Filled with indelible images and punishing sound design, REPULSION casts a shadow over everything from ERASERHEAD to BLACK SWAN, but there's nothing quite like the real thing."
REPULSION, starring the incomparable Catherine Deneuve, was director Roman Polanski's first movie filmed in English. It chronicles the descent into schizophrenia of a sexually confused, isolated young woman named Carol who works at a beauty parlor and shares an apartment with her sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux). One day Helen and her boyfriend, Michael (Ian Hendry), go off on vacation together and Carol is left alone in the empty apartment, where the only sounds are the constant ticking of a clock, faucets dripping, and the invasive ringing of a telephone. Extremely paranoid, Carol refuses to let anyone in and never leaves the building herself, in effect breaking off all contact with the outside world. In this claustrophobic environment, she begins to lose her grip on reality, suffering from hallucinations of being attacked by a phantom rapist and hands reaching out from the walls to grab her. Highly acclaimed and extremely gripping, Polanski's disturbing film can be seen as a prelude to his later work in the field of psychological horror: ROSEMARY'S BABY and, especially, THE TENANT.
Roman Polanski followed up his international breakthrough Knife in the Water with this controversial, chilling tale of psychosis, starring Catherine Deneuve as Carole, a fragile, frigid young beauty cracking up over the course of a terrifying weekend. Left alone by her vacationing sister in their London flat, Carole is haunted by specters real and imagined, and her insanity grows to a violent pitch. Thanks to its unforgettable attention to disturbing detail and Polanski's unparalleled adeptness at turning claustrophobic space into an emotional minefield, Repulsion remains one of cinema's most shocking psychological thrillers.
A psychological horror film shot almost entirely in a London flat, REPULSION delves into the case history of a mentally disturbed, hallucinogenic, homicidal girl repelled by sex. Good suspense and clever shocks mark this recommended film, Polanski's first English-language effort.