ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

The Tenant (1976)

France 125m, Colour
Director: Roman Polanski; Cast: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Bernard Fresson, Lila Kedrova, Claude Dauphin, Shelley Winters, Josiane Balasko

The_TenantA bizarre psychological thriller, The Tenant is the story of a mild mannered bachelor who takes the apartment of a recently deceased young woman who had mysteriously thrown herself from her apartment window. In an attempt to provide some context for her actions, we learn that she is an Egyptologist, which halfheartedly draws upon some popular notions and images of an ancient Egyptian curse. Building tension, but never delivering, The Tenant is the weakest of Polanski’s “apartment trilogy” of horror films that also includes Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and Repulsion (1965) (Klaus Ming May 2015).

10 comments on “The Tenant (1976)

  1. Joachim Boaz

    It might be the weakest of the trilogy although I had the most fun with this one… I love how over-the-top and self-conscious it is of all its own campy qualities.

    • Klaus

      I agree, it was pretty over the top, especially the female transformation of his character – almost comical at times.

  2. SJHoneywell

    I agree it’s the weakest of the trilogy, but I like it a little more than you do. Not a lot, but a little.

    There’s a reason that it’s the one part of the triliogy left out of the 1001 Movies list.

    • Klaus

      I liked the mood that it creates, but found the whole Egyptology angle pretty silly.

  3. Marshall

    Been meaning to watch this for a while but no longer rushing after reading this…

    • Klaus

      Yeah, I didn’t rush to see this one either. I like Polanski’s films, especially the moods he is able to create. I just wish this one made a little more sense.

  4. Hoosier X

    Gawd, I love The Tenant! I don’t know if I like it more than Repulsion, but I definitely prefer it (a little) over Rosemary’s Baby.

    For one thing, IT’S HILARIOUS! I saw it several times at a revival house in Los Angeles and it always attracted a big crowd of LA film fans who always enjoyed it immensely.

    The conventional wisdom may be that Rosemary’s Baby is the best of these three, but there are A LOT of people who love The Tenant.

  5. Eric Binford

    Hmm… I thought it was brilliant. I love all three apartment films!

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This entry was posted on 05/13/2015 by in 1970s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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