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Psychological horror films

Ryan Estabro​oks

about 2 years ago

I recently posted a ‘Films You Should Know’ article about Repulsion on my blog (at http://ryanestabrooks.com/Blog.html ) and I wanted to include everyone else on this discussion.

Repulsion, I would have to say, is my favorite horror movie of all time. It’s able to take it’s time, slowly developing the Carol character and putting us in her mindframe of insanity but in a very realistic way. I really do gravitate horror films that mainly deal with the mind and how it works vs. a slasher chopping up teenagers (which, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of those, just psychological stuff better).

-So for those that have seen Repulsion, what are your thoughts on it?
-How do you think it compares to Rosemary’s Baby, another horror film from Roman Polanski?
-What other psychological horror films do you think are outstanding?

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Loved Repulsion. It’s one of my faves.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Have you seen The Tenant? There are parts that are quite good.

I think Rosemary’s Baby is probably the most beloved across the boards in terms of this kind of Polanski film, but I can’t comment on it because… I haven’t seen it (at least in its entirety).

VOLUPTE NOIR

about 2 years ago

Odi, you MUST see Rosemary’s Baby. It’s a genuine classic and sooo fun.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

I know. I know. I will. I promise! :)

VOLUPTE NOIR

about 2 years ago

One of my personal favorites is the early sixties low-budget Carnival of Souls. And then there is always Eraserhead.

Ryan Estabro​oks

about 2 years ago

I have not seen The Tenant yet (it’s on my watchlist) but I have seen Rosemary’s Baby and really liked it! Although, to be honest, I was a bit inebriated so I don’t remember a whole lot of it…in fact, I should probably watch that again sometime soon.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

btw there’s a double bill on tcm late tonight: possession and repulsion :D

but rosemary’s baby will always be my favorite. ruth gordon, sooo creepy!!

VOLUPTE NOIR

about 2 years ago

Of the three Polanski films mentioned herein, The Tenant is by far the most oblique and bears repeated viewings. Creepy and good though. One might wonder why Polanski is so drawn to the macabre until one knows that as a child he was used for target practice by German soldiers in his native Poland and then had his beautiful pregnant wife stabbed to death by satanic Mansonites.

VOLUPTE NOIR

about 2 years ago

Yes, Rosemary’s Baby is all the creepier because it seems so plausible. No special effects or fire-spouting demons. In the words of Mia Farrow: “This is really happening!” And the soundtrack is classic.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

I loved Eraserhead but it was full of humor (for me).

There was nothing humorous about Repulsion, that I could tell.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

another of my favorites, showing an influence on psycho and on rosemary’s baby

the seventh victim (1943). one of the great new york movies even if it was shot on a hollywood soundstage

VOLUPTE NOIR

about 2 years ago

^God yes. I’m a Lewton fanatic!

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

yes me too! ^

ok i’m off to watch a film now; hope to see more suggestions here later! i love this kind of film!

Stavrogin

about 2 years ago

Just a few off the top of my head .

The DollArne Mattsson
MediumJacek Koprowicz
LokisJanusz Majewski
The Hour of the WolfIngmar Bergman
The Devil & PossessionAndrzej Zulawski
The PhantomMarek Nowicki
A Tale of Two SistersKim Ji-woon
MarebitoTakashi Shimizu
We Are All Demons ( to some extent ) – Henning Carlsen
GracePaul Solet
PulseKiyoshi Kurosawa
IdKei Fujiwara

And most of the films of Shinya Tsukamoto

ZED

about 2 years ago

Polanski is king of the psychological horror film with his “apartment trilogy” – with all three he totally hit it out of the ballpark.

ZED

about 2 years ago

Surprised Black Swan hasn’t been mentioned, since it’s a definitive example of the genre, even if it’s not all that great.

Experim​entoFil​m

about 2 years ago

Elio Petri’s A Quiet Place in the Country (1969)

Luigi Bazzoni’s Footprints on the Moon (1975)

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

nice suggestions above. ^ a tale of two sisters is terrific. and possession is really a must-see (although it’s really ott and i think repulsion is better)

the wicker man scared the crap out of me as a kid. i will never forget it. and mulholland drive of course

i’ll have to check out some of the others!

ZED

about 2 years ago

A lot of Lynch’s films are so mindbending and surreal it feels like he taps into some place in his unconscious that is almost beyond psychological horror..

Doctor Lemongl​ow

about 2 years ago

Ruby Stevens stole my thunder! I’m intrigued that some clever soul at TCM put those two pictures together.
Then again, I’m not surprised, because I know some of the staff
and they truly are a cool bunch of folks over there.

That scrabble scene from Rosemary’s Baby, by the way, is satisfying on many levels, and it’s one
more reason why I still marvel at the pure manipulation Polanski pulls off in every portion of that picture.
I also admire his control of the entire production, and how as a consequence so many discrete elements are unified to create a realm, i.e. Sydney Blackmer’s baritone echoing through the corridors of the old apartment building, Ruth Gordon’s busybody demeanor, that omnipresent ticking clock in the dream sequence, and yes, that Nancy Drew moment with the Scrabble letters.
Notice how the occasional (perfectly timed) use of bright sunlight persuades us that Rosemary will pull through this thing.

Ryan, I can’t help seeing Repulsion as more European, in its style and tone, than Rosemary’s Baby, which to my eyes and ears is a thoroughly American picture anyway.
You can trace all kinds of lines from RB to Val Lewton, Howard Hawks, and certainly Hitchcock.
After all, the production is really just William Castle dressed for a black tie evening, using low-rent modern Gothic as source material.
Somehow Polanski and his superb cast make it look new and sophisticated.

Repulsion, on the other hand, takes me to another place. I imagine Franz Kafka and Harold Pinter teaming up to deconstruct the classic “women’s picture,” yet being strongly influenced by Vivre sa vie.

To Stavrogin’s excellent list I would add EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966, J.Lee Thompson) and SHIETAN (2006, Kim Chapiron)

Sunny!

about 2 years ago

I love both Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, but for me Rosemary’s Baby is definitely superior. It’s just so well at juggling comedy and horror in this weird way.

As for other psychological horror films, I recently watched Carnival of Souls and completely fell in love with it!

Jake Anderso​n

about 2 years ago

Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, and Repulsion are three of the finest additions to the horror/suspense genre, in my opinion. To the many quality films listed above, I would recommend Nicolas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” as a must-see. Maybe also The Bad Seed, Kuroneko, The Changeling, and The Legend of Hell House. And while some of Dario Argento’s films could be considered a bit more extreme/graphic than the suggestions above, I don’t think the psychological aspects of many of his films—especially Suspiria—can be overlooked. Here’s a list I made of horror movies, some of which might not fit into the psychological category, but most do, and it might give you a few more ideas: http://mubi.com/lists/spooky-stuff

Cool topic. Thanks for starting the discussion.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

From The Tenant.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago


not a good look ^

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

No. And that’s what makes it so damn creepy. ;)

Westley

about 2 years ago

Ooooh, did somebody say psychological horror!? My favorite.

Here’s some I like that haven’t been mentioned yet.

PinSandor Stern
Perfect BlueSatoshi Kon
TriangleChristopher Smith
SpiderDavid Cronenberg
SaunaAntti-Jussi Annila
Satan Hates YouJames Felix McKenney
PiDarren Aronofsky
RetributionKiyoshi Kurosawa
ParasomniaWilliam Malone
MartinGeorge A. Romero
HeartlessPhilip Ridley
Apartment ZeroMartin Donovan
BirthJonathan Glazer
BugWilliam Friedkin
Buddy BoyMark Hanlon
CandymanBernard Rose
Dead RingersDavid Cronenberg
Love ObjectRobert Parigi

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Ooo. Dead Ringers. Vast respect for Cronenberg after seeing THAT one.

Carlos Figueir​edo

about 2 years ago

“Lemming” by Dominik Moll is quite nice.

Muk`s

about 2 years ago

i like it