Repulsion is the most overtly psychoanalytical: an afternoon trapped in a flat with Deneuve's quiet walking wounded, and her snowballingly psychotic worldview: cracking walls, rotting rabbits, dream rapists, murdered corpses. But even in the shadow of Conrad and Richard Matheson (co-written, though, by Polanski and crony Gérard Brach), the movie's shake-and-bake mix of "reality" and crumbling subjectivity is too deliberate to be about character—it is, rather, a game of movieness, a masquerade of Grand Guignol–as-psyche, virtually a parody of the surrealist's notion of consciousness bagged and tagged on celluloid. A viewer's empathic bond is never solicited, merely his/her voyeuristic weakness, and willingness to be bruised. At least then, Polanski was a full-on, post-Hitchcockian misanthrope, and Deneuve only aroused him as a plastic ideal to be harried, flogged, and made ugly. (He never succeeded.) The famous, final Rosebud-like shot—dollying in to a family photo oozing with suggested menace and sick history—is exactly the "dime-store Freud" Orson Welles always claimed Citizen Kane's riddle- solution fillip to be. But by then we've been played, 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. We learned nothing about her, only a little about our taste for suffering.