Friday, 24 February 2012

Film Review – Alfred Hitchcock – Psycho

Fig.1 Poster Art
Psycho, released in 1960 is a suspense/ horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on the novel by Robert Bloch, which is inspired by the Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. The film received mixed reviews, however due to its smash hit at the box office, which led to four Academy Award nominations was re-reviewed by many and since then has been a turning point in the film industry in terms of the use of editing and its story.

The follows the secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) who steals $40,000 from a client of her employer, and flees to her lover in California Sam Loomis (John Gavin) There is a heavy rainstorm on route, forcing her to stay at a Bates motel until the storm has stopped. The owner seems nice enough, just appears a little lonely to Marion.

Fig2. Shower scene
The Atmosphere created throughout this film is second to none, with one of the most famous scenes constantly parodied in future films, the shower scene with Marion. “brilliantly economical and tense, are simply more psychologically convincing and real than anything else in this baroque, inspired shocker” (Peter Bradshaw, 2010) the quick camera movements and editing within the shower scene involves the viewer almost totally, making one feel as if he is the attacker or the victim. The montage editing, flicking back and forth from the knife to the face of Marion. “The famous shower scene never shows the knife touching flesh, but it's still terrifying.” (Wenk 2011)The attack comes what unexpected to the viewer, making us feel deeply for the death of her. Once this attack has happened the viewer knows that the film is about to fall into chaos.

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The film has become one of the most overly critiqued movies “And, of course, it was the first movie to show a toilet flushing, so we might also credit it with spawning the entire gross-out genre. ‘Psycho’: we salute you.” (David Jenkins, 2010) The film opened many people’s eyes to what film could become in the future.


Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay by:
Joseph Stefano

Produced by:
Alfred Hitchcock

Thriller, Mystery, Horror

United States

Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Janet Leigh


List of Illustrations

Fig 1:
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