One of the most influential and iconic films in the history of cinema is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Released in 1960, Psycho shocked and fascinated audiences with its groundbreaking story, style and technique.
Warning! This article contains spoilers. It was created for those who have already seen the movie in question. If you have not seen the movie and plan to do so, it is suggested you do so before reading this article.
Psycho is a psychological thriller that explores the themes of madness, identity and voyeurism.
It tells the story of Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $40,000 from her employer and flees to a secluded motel run by Norman Bates, a young man with a dark secret.
Psycho is famous for its innovative use of cinematography, editing, music and sound to create suspense and horror.
The film features one of the most memorable scenes in film history: the shower scene, in which Marion is brutally stabbed by a mysterious figure. The shower scene is a masterpiece of visual storytelling, using 78 camera angles and 52 cuts in less than three minutes. The scene also uses the iconic score by Bernard Herrmann, which consists of screeching violins that mimic the sound of the knife. The scene was so shocking that many viewers reported feeling physically ill or traumatized after watching it.
Psycho also challenged the conventions of narrative and genre by killing off its main character halfway through the film and revealing the shocking twist at the end.
The film subverts the expectations of the audience by making them sympathize with Norman, who turns out to be the killer and suffers from a split personality disorder. The film also exposes the dark side of American society and culture, such as sexual repression, violence and corruption. Psycho is widely regarded as a masterpiece of filmmaking and a landmark in the development of horror and thriller genres.
Psycho has influenced countless directors and films, such as Brian De Palma’s Carrie, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs. These films borrow elements from Psycho, such as the use of split screens, unreliable narrators, female protagonists and serial killers.
This movie is also considered to be one of Hitchcock’s best works and a showcase of his artistic vision and skill. Hitchcock was known as the master of suspense and used various techniques to manipulate the emotions and reactions of the audience. He also used symbolism, motifs and references to convey his themes and messages. For example, he used birds to represent Norman’s obsession with his mother, mirrors to reflect the duality of his personality and taxidermy to symbolize his desire to preserve her.
Psycho is a film that deserves to be seen and appreciated by anyone who loves cinema and wants to understand its power and potential.
© Colin Lawson Books