A tale of a paranoid breakdown of a little bureaucratic clerk that wastes no time in trying to be clinical. It has a humorous tang, underlying the macabre.
Director Roman Polanski plays the little man himself, a naturalized Frenchman of Polish origin, that expertly combines a deceptive internal resiliency to his outward timidity that makes him pathetic.
He goes to look at an apartment he has heard of. A girl who has it threw herself out the window. He is told he may have it only if she does not come back. Polanski calls the hospital and learns the girl is dead. He moves in but mysterious things begin to happen.
There is an effective atmosphere and it does create a feeling of personal anguish. Thus not achieving a balance of humor and suspense.