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6,799 Ratings


Directed by Roman Polanski
United Kingdom, 1965
Drama, Horror, Thriller
  • English
  • English, French


Roman Polanski’s controversial English-language debut stars Catherine Deneuve as Carol, a beautiful, frigid young woman whose grasp on reality begins to crumble when she’s left alone in her sister’s London flat.

Our take

Motored by a spiralling, serrated edge-of-your-seat tension, Polanski’s nervous, profound psychological horror leaves leading lady Catherine Deneuve in distress, cornered and enclosed in his innovative mise en scène.

Repulsion Directed by Roman Polanski

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1965 | 2 wins including: FIPRESCI Prize

BAFTA Awards

1966 | Nominee: Best British Cinematography (B/W)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1965 | 2nd place: Best Director

1965 | 3rd place: Best Actress

What are people saying?

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film Repulsion

    After watching it for the second time the film is still disturbing - especially if you listen to the strongly modelled, suggestive sound design with its dripping and floating water, ticking clocks, the intrusive ringings of telephone, door bell and chimes, the steps on the stairway the cracking of the walls and other sounds.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Repulsion

    My favorite Polanski thus far is reminiscent of Bergman's Persona both in it's cinematography and it's similar surreal horror. It also trails the path through which Cronenberg would build himself his whole career around. Honestly, as someone who has a habit of biting my nails since childhood (I'm biting them as I write this), it's impact was probably even more enhanced. Few films capture the body's fragility so well.

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film Repulsion

    Polanski's love letter to Hitchcock - the title, the aloof blonde, the late period B&W - is an ultra low-budget, beatnik 'Psycho' (with a few sprinkles of 'Persona'), a claustrophic, misanthropic take on London's swinging sixties. (For those commenters questioning her motives, it's all there in that brilliant final shot.)

  • Mitchell Corner's rating of the film Repulsion

    Polanski became synonymous with what we describe as the "Horror of Apartments" sub-sub-Genre when he made 'Repulsion', 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'The Tenant' (his trilogy of the terror that comes psychologically in Apartment settings). With Repulsion Polanski crafts a tightly wound spiraling decent into madness as Deneuve gives one of her striking performances. The film is terrifying, plain and simple. You will jump.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Repulsion

    The hands in latex, the old woman with the little dog, the fat lady's chopped finger, the man in the mirror, nuns in black & white, flies over a dead rabbit's head, Deneuve's hair, Catherine's legs, Hendry in the water, the swelling apartment. An anthology of superb scenes. Masterpiece.

  • Addy K.'s rating of the film Repulsion

    Hegel had a sister, Christiane Luise, who so loved her brother that she went mad after his wedding. Something similar happens in REPULSION. Polanski and co-writer Gérard Brach rarely provide psychological basis to Carol, the frigid beauty played by Catherine Deneuve. We see only what Carol sees: the relived horrors of childhood (rape?) or nightly visitations by demonic, old neighbors that lust for her virgin body.

  • Rafael Zen's rating of the film Repulsion

    Repulsion builds such an intense atmosphere around Deneuve: it's nightmare thriller gone insanely beautiful. The way the camera focuses on her apathetic beauty to tell this feminine tale is remarkable: black and white cinema gem. Some scenes make you want to freeze the image and just stare. By the end, it's a haunting experience.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film Repulsion

    The first half-hour is really just about a beautiful and shy young woman mumbling around her house and the beauty salon where she works... then things start to get more interesting. "Repulsion" is slow-paced but very efective with its cinematography and sound... I jumped off my seat a couple of times. However it would have been nice to get to the origin of Carol's repulsion for men. Cool movie nonetheless!