“Psycho” is an
American psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960.
This film is based on a Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name, which
was inspired by a disturbing real life story of Ed Gein. “Psycho” is one
of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces which left a huge impact
to future horror movie directors. As Roger Ebert writes in his review:
"no other Hitchcock film had a greater impact." (Ebert, 1998).
Fig. 2 Crane and John
“Psycho” brings out the astonishing feeling though out the whole film's
duration. From the very beginning till the end of the film viewer is
put in a third person perspective.(Fig. 2) The camera becomes plastic, it
becomes one with the viewer’s eyes. For example, as the main character,
Marion Crane, steals the money from her job and comes back home. She
puts the money on her bed, and starts packing her stuff. While packing,
she takes a glance at the money for a few seconds, the camera follows her direction of seeing and shows the money.(Fig. 3) Also, Hitchcock exaggerates this act, he doesn’t show money once, he makes sure that the camera moves between her actions and the money four times. This camera play between the main character and the money provides the audience with clear idea what she might do, without having any dialogue.
Fig. 3 Crane looking at the money
Moreover, the movie is made in white and black which adds up uneasiness for viewers to watch. The most perfect scene
of this film was the shower scene. When Crane’s vulnerable
body was exposed to the killer, which was standing behind the bath
curtains.(Fig. 4) Also, the sounds of violins high
note hitting only one note for some period of time lets the audience
experience shock which Crane had when she noticed the killer. As Dustin
Putman writes in his review: "Psycho" terrified audiences in 1960 and,
surprisingly, still holds up today” (Putman, 1998)
Fig. 4 Crane taking a shower
Furthermore, in “Psycho” film Hitchcock plays with his audience. He kills off the main character in the middle of the film, leaving viewer wonder “is that it?”. As if the main character never existed. Nevertheless, the film doesn’t become dull, it becomes more intriguing, leaving more questions for the viewer to think. As the Felix Vasquez explains in his film review: "Hitchcock is the puppet master in this film and keeps the audience on baited breath throughout the entire story which leads up to the haunting final moments of the film in which we stare into the face of the monster."(Vasquez, 2013).
In conclusion, “Psycho” is one of the greatest Hitchcock’s films, which will continue to leave the best expression of horror films in history.
Bibliography: Ebert, R. (1998) "Psycho" review. At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-psycho-1960 (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Putman, D. (1998) "Psycho" review. At: http://www.thefilmfile.com/reviews/p/60_psycho.htm (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Vasquez, F. (2013) "Psycho" review. At: http://cinema-crazed.com/blog/2013/10/23/psycho-1960/ (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Illustration List: Fig.1 "Psycho" Poster At: http://pre15.deviantart.net/c573/th/pre/f/2013/097/a/3/alfred_hitchcock_psycho_poster_1960_by_teotone92-d60q1y7.jpg (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Fig.2 Crane and John (film still) From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: https://thejar.hitchcock.zone/files/gallery/org/3984.jpg (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Fig.3 Crane looking at the money (film still) From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: https://www.d.umn.edu/~cstroupe/ideas/assets/psycho_editing/psycho_home1.jpg http://i1.wp.com/www.horrorhomeroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/3364_4.jpg (Accessed on 15/02/2017) Fig.4 Crane taking a shower (film still) From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: https://johnlinkmovies.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/psycho15.png (Accessed on 15/02/2017)