Repulsion appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.
Sharpness consistently seemed positive throughout the movie. A few wider shots displayed a smidgen of softness, but not in a way that created any distractions.
Instead, the film usually looked detailed and concise. I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent.
No issues with digital noise reduction occurred, as the movie presented a natural layer of grain. Print flaws also failed to cause concerns, as no specks, marks or debris manifested through the film.
Black levels looked deep and rich throughout the movie. Shadow detail also appeared clear and appropriately opaque; a few interiors could be a bit dense, but that stemmed from the source. Overall, this was a highly appealing transfer.
The movie’s LPCM monaural soundtrack wasn’t quite as pleasing, but it seemed to be good for its era. Dialogue remained easily intelligible, though the lines tended to sound a bit tinny, and some looping added an artificial air to speech at times.
Effects came across as acceptably clean and realistic, while the score showed reasonable pep. While the music lacked much range, those elements seemed concise and smooth enough. This was a more than acceptable mix for its age.
When we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary with co-writer/director Roman Polanski and actor Catherine Deneuve. Both sit separately for this edited look at the opening credits, cinematography, cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, music, dealing with censors, and connected domains.
Polanski dominates this track, as Deneuve appears infrequently. She tosses in some good insights when she does pop up, and Polanski covers the film well. He adds useful thoughts about the movie – and even a little self-criticism – in this engaging, informative piece.
A 2003 piece, A British Horror Film runs 24 minutes, three seconds. It offers notes from Polanski, cinematographer Gil Taylor, production designer Seamus Flannery, producer Gene Gutowski and executive producer Tony Tenser.
“British” looks at the movie’s origins and development, cinematography, sets and locations, cast and performances, Polanski’s work on the set, censorship and the film’s release. Though not the tightest program, “British” manages to become a fairly informative overview.
Grand Ecran goes for 21 minutes, 30 seconds and provides a TV excerpt from October 1964. It takes us to the set to observe parts of the shoot; Deneuve, Polanski and actor Yvonne Furneaux throw out some observations as well. I like this kind of “fly on the wall” material so this becomes a useful addition.
In addition to two trailers, the package concludes with a booklet. It mixes credits, photos and an essay from Bill Horrigan. As usual, the booklet adds to the set’s value.
Roman Polanski’s “breakout” movie, Repulsion holds up well after more than 50 years. Despite some dated elements, it delivers a dark, unnerving tale that continues to unsettle. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture along with largely positive audio and a decent selection of supplements. This becomes a solid release for an engaging film.