The Tenant Reviews

  • Feb 10, 2021

    Fascinating to analyze given Roman Polanski's own involvement as the lead (think it helps in intention while perhaps suffering due to limits of acting chops) and a young Adjani able to stretch in an undefined multifacted supporting role; always fun to see a deadpan Shelley Winters playing her default type role

    Fascinating to analyze given Roman Polanski's own involvement as the lead (think it helps in intention while perhaps suffering due to limits of acting chops) and a young Adjani able to stretch in an undefined multifacted supporting role; always fun to see a deadpan Shelley Winters playing her default type role

  • Dec 14, 2020

    A thriller that not only doesn't have a compelling narrative but even lacks thrills or scenes particularly rife with tension.

    A thriller that not only doesn't have a compelling narrative but even lacks thrills or scenes particularly rife with tension.

  • Oct 28, 2020

    One of Roman Polanski's best films with some good performances

    One of Roman Polanski's best films with some good performances

  • Oct 07, 2020

    I appreciated that The Tenant avoids going straight into the supernatural to create its horror, instead this film is more of a psychological horror/thriller. Many questions arise as to what is real and what is imagined, but there’s never any indication that a ghostly spirit is causing all of the drama (aside from a picture of a sarcophagus and some mummy imagery.) I am the type of person who would enjoy it slightly more if we had clear answers to tell us why all this began to drive Trelkovsky mad, I can appreciate the way his mind blends fantasy with reality so seamlessly. The Tenant also does a brilliant job of creating atmosphere and putting us in the mind of the protagonist. We live in his visions of the world most of the time, so it looks insane and everyone seems odd and antagonistic. It made me horribly uncomfortable because there was so much confrontation between him and the neighbors. This was entirely intentional, but it was tough to sit through because I’ve had some neighbor issues in my apartment in the past. Some of the choices Polanski made while filming The Tenant were weird. For starters, while I can understand a movie that has most of the dialogue dubbed in through ADR, it’s such a strange choice to use all Americans when they make a point of placing the film in Paris. It stood out even more to me since Polanski is using his natural Polish accent, and yet there’s nary a French person around. I also had trouble seeing how the main character started jumping to certain conclusions. I suppose without being in the mind of a person dealing with mental illness it’s hard to connect with their thought process, but they had done so much to carry us along on his journey of paranoia that I expected to have a bit more insight into his mindset later as well. I think The Tenant is an effective film, even if it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of a psychologist or even an actual schizophrenic person on how well the film depicts mental illness, but it’s not the type of movie I find enjoyable to watch.

    I appreciated that The Tenant avoids going straight into the supernatural to create its horror, instead this film is more of a psychological horror/thriller. Many questions arise as to what is real and what is imagined, but there’s never any indication that a ghostly spirit is causing all of the drama (aside from a picture of a sarcophagus and some mummy imagery.) I am the type of person who would enjoy it slightly more if we had clear answers to tell us why all this began to drive Trelkovsky mad, I can appreciate the way his mind blends fantasy with reality so seamlessly. The Tenant also does a brilliant job of creating atmosphere and putting us in the mind of the protagonist. We live in his visions of the world most of the time, so it looks insane and everyone seems odd and antagonistic. It made me horribly uncomfortable because there was so much confrontation between him and the neighbors. This was entirely intentional, but it was tough to sit through because I’ve had some neighbor issues in my apartment in the past. Some of the choices Polanski made while filming The Tenant were weird. For starters, while I can understand a movie that has most of the dialogue dubbed in through ADR, it’s such a strange choice to use all Americans when they make a point of placing the film in Paris. It stood out even more to me since Polanski is using his natural Polish accent, and yet there’s nary a French person around. I also had trouble seeing how the main character started jumping to certain conclusions. I suppose without being in the mind of a person dealing with mental illness it’s hard to connect with their thought process, but they had done so much to carry us along on his journey of paranoia that I expected to have a bit more insight into his mindset later as well. I think The Tenant is an effective film, even if it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of a psychologist or even an actual schizophrenic person on how well the film depicts mental illness, but it’s not the type of movie I find enjoyable to watch.

  • Oct 05, 2020

    The Tenant is an interesting cinematic journey where the lines between fantasy and reality become obscure as the film progresses. The film focuses mainly upon the dark side of human nature and the difficulties associated with living in close quarters with others. Polanski does a fabulous job in the lead role as he spends most of the time inhabiting a vulnerable place within society. Watching 'The Tenant' is an unsettling experience well worth investing in.

    The Tenant is an interesting cinematic journey where the lines between fantasy and reality become obscure as the film progresses. The film focuses mainly upon the dark side of human nature and the difficulties associated with living in close quarters with others. Polanski does a fabulous job in the lead role as he spends most of the time inhabiting a vulnerable place within society. Watching 'The Tenant' is an unsettling experience well worth investing in.

  • Sep 08, 2020

    I loved the lead actors in this movie. Although the movie plot had my head spinning at time, the action was non-stop and the ride was out of this world.

    I loved the lead actors in this movie. Although the movie plot had my head spinning at time, the action was non-stop and the ride was out of this world.

  • Jul 27, 2020

    The problem for Polanski is the comparison with his own, much better, Rosemary's Baby. The plot very much mirrors the former film, but doesn't have the punch.

    The problem for Polanski is the comparison with his own, much better, Rosemary's Baby. The plot very much mirrors the former film, but doesn't have the punch.

  • Jun 14, 2020

    This is the third psychological horror film I've seen from Polanski (I've also seen Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion). I love all three of these films and think they're really well-crafted and impressive. Of the three of them, however, I think I like this one the most. While watching this film, I often questioned whether the events in it were real or if they were just in Trelkovsky's head. Though Trelkovsky could've just imagined everything in it, that about 101 mildly or really fishy things happen in it which involve the other tenants in the building complicates this. While some of these incidents could be dismissed or explained with simple, rational factors, when all of these are stacked up together, it does cause one to raise doubts. A lot of this has to do with the dialogue as certain lines have double meanings to them. For instance, in an early scene, the Concierge says "Don't worry, she won't get better." when referring to the attempted suicide of the previous tenant. While this line and a handful of other lines and conversations could be meant in an entirely non-sinister context, the greatness is that they can be used interchangeably. While some scenes are harder to make a case for one way or the other, Polanski usually refuses to either confirm or deny Trelkovsky's suspicions, creating an air of mystery which flutters around this film. This ambiguity also causes many scenes in the latter portions of the film to be terrifying since this possibility that Trelkovsky may be right is maintained through the entire film by Polanski, as he illustrates with the ending scenes by how the tenants who appear to have good intentions on the outside still have a sinister atmosphere around them. However, since the film also raises some doubt towards whether or not Trelkovsky's right such as how he mistakes a salesman for Monsieur Zy while in Stella's room, we also wonder if the tenants actually don't mean any harm to him. The final act carries this feeling with it. Overall, I think this film does an incredible job at eliciting complex emotions from the audience through this ambiguity. Polanski also has a unique way of building up to the more horrific moments in this film. While a handful of "horror" sequences are found throughout the film, it takes over half the film for the horror to be emphasized as the main focus. What I find interesting about what comes before this emphasis is that, while the film tells us that it's going to be horror fairly early on, the horror sequences eventually become fewer and fewer and the romantic/dramatic sequences begin to replace them until the film convinces you that it's actually not going to be a horror film. Due to this, the emphasis on horror can strangely come off as a surprise. Beyond this, however, what's even more clever is that the film strangely evokes questions on whether it, for a brief moment, achieves transcendence from the horror genre. While, on one hand, you could point out how the early horror sequences show what genre it is from the start or how it's easy to find out it's a psychological horror before you even watch it, the film does such a good job with buildup by placing a greater emphasis on the romance between Trelkovsky and Stella, having most of his conflicts with the other tenants boil down to noise complaints, and by having a number of other non-horror sequences and conversations that it complicates this question. In a way, it does convince you that it's actually not going to be a horror film around the middle. I think this is one of the hardest and most impressive things for any genre film (horror, action) to achieve and I'd say this film accomplishes it really well, especially so considering that I never felt impatient while waiting for this shift to happen as it contained more than enough to keep me interested. Overall, this film is really impressive. While I was fairly mixed on it when I first watched it, I now think it's pretty incredible. Both the ambiguity found throughout the film and the feeling of transcendence it evokes as it rolls along are two really effective concepts in my mind and they definitely make it worth recommending.

    This is the third psychological horror film I've seen from Polanski (I've also seen Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion). I love all three of these films and think they're really well-crafted and impressive. Of the three of them, however, I think I like this one the most. While watching this film, I often questioned whether the events in it were real or if they were just in Trelkovsky's head. Though Trelkovsky could've just imagined everything in it, that about 101 mildly or really fishy things happen in it which involve the other tenants in the building complicates this. While some of these incidents could be dismissed or explained with simple, rational factors, when all of these are stacked up together, it does cause one to raise doubts. A lot of this has to do with the dialogue as certain lines have double meanings to them. For instance, in an early scene, the Concierge says "Don't worry, she won't get better." when referring to the attempted suicide of the previous tenant. While this line and a handful of other lines and conversations could be meant in an entirely non-sinister context, the greatness is that they can be used interchangeably. While some scenes are harder to make a case for one way or the other, Polanski usually refuses to either confirm or deny Trelkovsky's suspicions, creating an air of mystery which flutters around this film. This ambiguity also causes many scenes in the latter portions of the film to be terrifying since this possibility that Trelkovsky may be right is maintained through the entire film by Polanski, as he illustrates with the ending scenes by how the tenants who appear to have good intentions on the outside still have a sinister atmosphere around them. However, since the film also raises some doubt towards whether or not Trelkovsky's right such as how he mistakes a salesman for Monsieur Zy while in Stella's room, we also wonder if the tenants actually don't mean any harm to him. The final act carries this feeling with it. Overall, I think this film does an incredible job at eliciting complex emotions from the audience through this ambiguity. Polanski also has a unique way of building up to the more horrific moments in this film. While a handful of "horror" sequences are found throughout the film, it takes over half the film for the horror to be emphasized as the main focus. What I find interesting about what comes before this emphasis is that, while the film tells us that it's going to be horror fairly early on, the horror sequences eventually become fewer and fewer and the romantic/dramatic sequences begin to replace them until the film convinces you that it's actually not going to be a horror film. Due to this, the emphasis on horror can strangely come off as a surprise. Beyond this, however, what's even more clever is that the film strangely evokes questions on whether it, for a brief moment, achieves transcendence from the horror genre. While, on one hand, you could point out how the early horror sequences show what genre it is from the start or how it's easy to find out it's a psychological horror before you even watch it, the film does such a good job with buildup by placing a greater emphasis on the romance between Trelkovsky and Stella, having most of his conflicts with the other tenants boil down to noise complaints, and by having a number of other non-horror sequences and conversations that it complicates this question. In a way, it does convince you that it's actually not going to be a horror film around the middle. I think this is one of the hardest and most impressive things for any genre film (horror, action) to achieve and I'd say this film accomplishes it really well, especially so considering that I never felt impatient while waiting for this shift to happen as it contained more than enough to keep me interested. Overall, this film is really impressive. While I was fairly mixed on it when I first watched it, I now think it's pretty incredible. Both the ambiguity found throughout the film and the feeling of transcendence it evokes as it rolls along are two really effective concepts in my mind and they definitely make it worth recommending.

  • Apr 22, 2020

    First half was a lot stronger than the second half. Gets kinda ridiculous once he starts cross dressing

    First half was a lot stronger than the second half. Gets kinda ridiculous once he starts cross dressing

  • Apr 19, 2020

    I would like to preface this by saying that I am someone who, while being able to appreciate his work, thinks that Roman Polanski is a terrible, creepy, monster of a human being. I just wanted to get that out of the way. This movie is a great horror movie/thriller. Its suspense is masterful, and while it may not be Polanski's best, it still is unnerving and kept me unsettled for most of the run time. It builds paranoia through the tiniest of details; I was often unsure if I was supposed to be unsettled or not. It creates a sense of being trapped in an inescapable fate, making it feel very similar to a nightmare where no matter where you go, you're never safe. These elements are all there and done very well, but somehow this still seems somewhat messy and overly long. I feel like it could have been done much better with maybe 10 to 20 minutes taken off. It also has a bit of camp, that, while I'm a huge fan of camp, seemed misplaced here.

    I would like to preface this by saying that I am someone who, while being able to appreciate his work, thinks that Roman Polanski is a terrible, creepy, monster of a human being. I just wanted to get that out of the way. This movie is a great horror movie/thriller. Its suspense is masterful, and while it may not be Polanski's best, it still is unnerving and kept me unsettled for most of the run time. It builds paranoia through the tiniest of details; I was often unsure if I was supposed to be unsettled or not. It creates a sense of being trapped in an inescapable fate, making it feel very similar to a nightmare where no matter where you go, you're never safe. These elements are all there and done very well, but somehow this still seems somewhat messy and overly long. I feel like it could have been done much better with maybe 10 to 20 minutes taken off. It also has a bit of camp, that, while I'm a huge fan of camp, seemed misplaced here.