Article #1269 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-4-2004
Posting Date: 2-1-2005
Directed by Roman Polanski
Featuring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
A disturbed young woman finds herself unable to cope with the departure of her sister on a holiday, and begins to sink into madness.
As a result of the popularity of PSYCHO at the beginning of the decade, many of the horror films of the sixties were about mad killers. This movie differs from many of those in one main respect; whereas most of those were focused on the threat they presented to their victims, this one is almost totally focused on the disturbed killer herself. The movie is unsettling, but fascinating. The two things I like best are Catherine Deneuve’s fantastic performance and Roman Polanski’s ability to zero in on imagery that gives you a sense of her madness. The repeated shots of the slowly rotting rabbit on the plate, the sudden appearance of cracks in the woodwork, and the jarring sound of the telephone and the doorbell every time they invade the woman’s solitude have a way of really putting you on edge. It’s not really a horror film so much as a drama about madness, but horror fans will find plenty here to hold their interest. This is one of my favorite of Polanski’s films.