This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
josh lewis’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
everything about how this has been self-consciously stylized makes it far too cute and polished to enter the ugly and surreal realm that a movie like this needs to get to, it feels like a little boy playing dress-up polanski*/argento, and im sorry if this is insensitive but these movies had a certain kind of unsettlingly raw, dirty power to them when made by the legitimate perverts of their era. in 2021 there's nothing here but shallow image recreation (and not even very good recreation at that, the 60s stuff even looks plastic with his goddamn whip pan cutting) and Male Feminist apologia for trafficking in those problematic images. misogyny existed in the 60s? nostalgia is bad? thank you edgar. not a total failure (i will admit to being intrigued by the first 45 minutes or so, mostly due to the lead performances) but by the end the whole thing is pretty embarrassing and incoherent and worst of all not remotely scary. between this and Baby Driver it's become quite obvious that the dude needs to go back to emotionally/visually tuning up comedies about smalltown british losers (he's very good at it!) and stop pretending he's on the level of the filmmakers he admires as a cinephile.
[*since my words weren’t as clear as they could’ve been and this review has been screencapped and shared with deliberate bad faith “he said you need to be a rapist/pedophile to make a good sleazy movie!” misinterpretation many times without the clarification i made in comments below i would like to add it here to avoid future confusion:
“there is no such argument being made here that we should return to the "old days" of rapists being able to make movies... simply an acknowledgement that Repulsion is a genuinely unsettling piece of filmmaking (despite or perhaps in part because its creator was an evil person) and this is not. however, there are plenty of other filmmakers who managed to make films like this with genuinely violent and erotic intensity without being sex criminals—one of them is even cited in this review—so this assumption that i am "pining for" or excusing/suggesting sex crimes are an integral part of this genre by making that acknowledgement is a pretty ungenerous one imo. i would've been happy to talk about those other filmmakers like mario bava or brian de palma in this review instead but alas i didn't see much Body Double in this, so if you're upset polanski got name-dropped positively here at all im going to have to direct all the blame there towards the filmmaker, he’s the one who adores him enough to poorly remake one of his films.”]