• Director:  Emil Křižka
  • Writer: Emil Křižka
  • Stars: Stepán Kozub, Alena Sasínová-Polarczyk, Pavla Gajdošíková, Petr Panzenberger


Repulse is a very difficult film to access. Playing at the BHFF the film has competing non-linear timelines and a different style to is hard to acquiesce to.

Kateřina (Gajdošíková) and Robert (Panzenberger) raise their young daughter in a luxurious modern villa, but their family life can hardly be called harmonious. In contrast, Viktor (Kozub) lives with his mother in a semi-dilapidated house in a remote area, but their family relationships are no healthier…

Křižka has thrown the rule book out the window here. Telling a story the way she wants too. Minimal dialogue, images that naw at your psyche and a twisted, sad story. You’ll either go with it or rebel against it and it seems Křižka wouldn’t care which it is.

Gajdošíková is very good here, getting across emotions in an otherwise emotionless setting. The little touches to her character are spot on, creating a complete character flaws and all. On the other side of the coin, is the hyper emotional home of Viktor. Kozub plays a heightened mad man, controlled by his mother. He plays Viktor boldly, the character is unlikable, unhinged and dangerously insane. He manages to convey that madness, even in his quieter moments.

Showing the different forms of dysfunction between the two households was an interesting way to tell this story but I didn’t think it fully worked. The point that abuse and pain occurs regardless of rich or poor is clear, especially when these two family meet in a shared tragic event. I am not quite sure what the rest of the film was saying beyond the broad strokes and perhaps I am not smart enough to understand it all or maybe there isn’t meant to be a great underlying message and is simply showing us two sides of the same coin.

Repulse is a film that doesn’t offer you any easy answers nor easy viewing but will have you thinking about it for days after. Křižka has made a restrained film, one that could have easily ventured into French Extremity style. Repulse is a feel bad film and that’s a good thing.

Played at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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