Figure One - Psycho DVD Cover
Psycho is a 1960 American suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. The screenplay by Joseph Stefano is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The novel was loosely inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein, who lived just 40 miles from Bloch.
· Release: 1960
· Director: Alfred Hitchcock
· Screenplay by: Joseph Stefano
· Produced by: Alfred Hitchcock
· Genre/subgenre: Thriller, Mystery, Horror
· Duration: 109 mins
Psycho starts off with an unsteady high camera pan onto a building where Marian Crane and her lover in a room, the audience finds out, she wants to marry him but due to his ex wife he is indebted, that day Marian is asked to put $40,000 into the bank, but she isn’t feeling too well and ask to go home after would but she fleas with the $40,000. Then on her way to her lover she has to stop at a motel due to the heavy rain and this is when she meets Norman Bates who seems like a lonely but a nice guy, at this point you still think both these characters are in it till the end like most films today but Hitchcock never had that in mind.
“And here again Hitchcock's care with the scenes and dialog persuades us that Norman and Marion will be players for the rest of the film.” (Ebert 2000)
Figure Two - Norman and a stuffed animal.
but Once you find out Norman stuffs animals for a hobby is when you start questioning what the loneliness has done to him being stuck out there with is ill mother.
The change in atmosphere in Psycho is superb, one minute you think you’re watching a romance catch me if you can type of film to a horror slasher where one of the main characters is brutally murdered which was a great shock half way through the film.
Emotion changing within Psycho is interesting, one minute you’re caring for Marian even though she’s the bad guy, then you feel sorry for the motel owner due to his situation then finding out he’s a psychopath, you then care for the Sam and Marian sister who is worried sick for her sister.
Hitchcock deliberately manipulates the viewers’ sympathies. There are numerous red herrings: the initial tryst, the stolen money, the traffic cop. But, after the first half-hour, the heroine is butchered in the infamous shower scene, one of cinema’s most memorable moments. Audience identification then shifts towards pathetic, bird-like Norman (a remarkable, brilliant performance from Perkins) as he tries to clean up “mother’s handiwork”. (Total film 1998)
Figure Three the famous shower scene.
The editing within the film is flawless, especially the famous shower scene, too much to watch when it was released, throughout the whole scene you never see the knife touch her skin and the blood is kept to a minimum, yet it caused a lot of disturbances all them years ago but now days it’s just a mild famous scene but helps the shower scene stand out due to violin being played so well, but overall music stands out the most in Psycho, adding great tension to the scenes, building up the suspense especially the scene near the end when Marian sister is in the basement and is slow approaching Normans mum corps. throughout the film, close up shots of the actors faces is strong in Psycho and is done well creating great tension along side the music.
“The famous shower scene never shows the knife touching flesh, but it's still terrifying.” (Wenk 2011)