Repulsion. My third by Polanski. As in Rosemary’s Baby–and The Shining, Psycho, Black Swan and others–here we have a largely housebound voyage into a disturbed mind. A common thread with these types of movies is that I find them mostly mediocre when they’re not boring. This one is decent, although (because?) it is pretty much completely absent of plot. You’re just watching this affectless woman fall apart. Great sound design from jazz in the streets to clocks and phones and alarms. And I will never complain about watching Catherine Deneuve for 90 minutes. Movies I’ve seen in recent years that also star a crazy woman: Suddenly, Last Summer, Sunset Boulevard, Mulholland Drive, Play Misty for Me, Monster, Mother, and Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby. This is one creepy movie. It’s mostly a nice, slow tiptoeing towards a dreadful end rather than occasional surprise-attack horror nonsense. Ebert says:

This is why the movie is so good. The characters and the story transcend the plot. In most horror films, and indeed in most suspense films of the Alfred Hitchcock tradition, the characters are at the mercy of the plot. In this one, they emerge as human beings actually doing these things.