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When Carol, a shy young Belgian, is left alone for a few days in the Kensington flat she shares with her sister, she begins to withdraw into a reclusive existence where innocuous everyday realities are distorted by deep-seated anxieties. On screen throughout the film, Deneuve gives a wondrously subtle performance as the increasingly catatonic girl, but equally expressive of her terrifying inner torment are the sometimes surreal but never over-emphatic visual and aural effects created by Polanski to accompany her wanderings around the empty apartment or the bustling streets of South Kensington.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Roman Polanski's first English-language film is still a creepy little horror masterpiece."
‑ Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"Deneuve, without much dialog, handles a very difficult chore with insight and tact."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The young Catherine Deneuve (she was 22 at the time of filming) gives a performance so unsettling and so precise, I can barely believe she grew into such a confident screen presence."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Deneuve, as the woman whose fear of sexual contact is at the base of her neurosis, has seldom been less like her icy self."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Polanski makes us psyche-cine intruders, able to come and go as we please. It is this that makes the film so unsettling and perversely enigmatic."
‑ Nicola Woodham, Electric Sheep
"At second glance, or as often as a moviegoer can bear to peek through his knotted fingers, it is a Gothic horror story, a classic chiller of the Psycho school and approximately twice as persuasive."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The ordeal we and Polanski craved for Deneuve turned out to be just a sport, and we were the ball -- just as we'd hoped."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"Roman Polanski takes us on a deeply disturbing, hallucinatory trip into Catherine Deneuve's mental breakdown in this British psychological thriller,"
‑ Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
"A film that expertly shows without ever telling, even while the symbolism is a mite heavy handed."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"It's been an inspiration ever since for films about claustrophobic hysteria, but not necessarily in a good way ..."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Roman Polanski's first film in English is still his scariest and most disturbing."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Still perhaps Polanski's most perfectly realised film, a stunning portrait of the disintegration, mental and emotional, of a shy young Belgian girl (Deneuve) living in London."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Deneuve gives an astonishing, clinically accurate performance ..."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"There can't be many other films which so plausibly show an entire, warped world created from a single point of view."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"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."
‑ Andrew Lowry, Total Film
More reviews for Repulsion on Rotten Tomatoes

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