Repulsion (1965) tells the tale of a mysterious, disturbed young woman who slowly cracks to the point of psychological destruction. For a low-budget film, not only is Repulsion an outstanding cinematic feat, but also comparable to the best horror/psychological thrillers of the time, especially works of Hitchcock. Notably, acute visual details and foreboding sound effects were skillfully employed to set the tone and narrate the story, which were indicative of freshman director Roman Polanski's ingenuity and insight in filmmaking. Although Polanski himself said Repulsion is too slow in the first half, he still managed to make the most simple and routine events interesting and captivating.
After watching two documentaries and listening to most of a commentary on Repulsion, it's safe to say that Polanski was not attempting to promote feminism. Moreover, it's quite disturbing to realize that the attitudes of men seen in this film were once acceptable. For example, Polanski said it was quite normal when one scene depicted a young woman breaking down because she thought she'd found a man that was different, but came to realize all men are pigs. In fact, throughout the entire film, "normal" men are portrayed as sexual brutes that assert their wills on women, including imposing a John-Wayne-smack across a crying female's face--such behavior was appallingly common in films of this era. Honestly, it was EXTREMELY enjoyable watching the bloke that broke the door down getting his comeuppance with a candlestick in the foyer by Miss Ledoux. Albeit it wasn't meant to be pro-feminist in theme, Repulsion sure as hell comes across that way today, which makes it even more meaningful in current times.
The Criterion Collection's 2009 release of Repulsion on Blu-ray is the best choice if interested in adding this awesome movie to one's home entertainment library. It includes two documentaries with Polanski and some of his crew, a commentary, excellent audio/video quality, impeccable English subtitles, and an insert with a short essay.