My wife refused to see Repulsion--I think she had read or heard something that spooked her--so I went with a friend who said she’d loved Knife in the Water and was eager to see what Roman Polanski would do next.
She regretted her enthusiasm. She looks a little like Catherine Deneuve (I have very good taste in--or great luck with--my choice of friends), but that was of only symbolic importance. What really mattered was the dead rabbit, rotting on the counter while Deneuve considers what it means to be a woman and goes mad. “That was one evil rabbit test,” my friend managed to joke afterwards. But her face was pale, and she didn’t look me in the eye, but away to the periphery, where maybe the cracks in the walls might widen, or the street cave in, or her friend might lunge at her and take her away from all light and warmth.
This movie shoves too hard, grim in its force--with pity in its eyes, but that does you no good, down there in the hole.