Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Psycho Review

Fig.1. Psycho poster
Leaping head first into the suspense that Hitchcock is so famous for, this gripping horror mystery known as Psycho is one that hasn't faded away through time. Jumping straight to the point, Hitchcock sets the mood by granting permission to a young woman to carry a large sum of money on her person, for financial reasons, but allows the woman's personal greed to overwhelm the situation. Waiting at a set of traffic lights believing this is her lucky break, Hitchcock places her boss at the same lights and whilst crossing the road, questions her character with his eyes as she drives hastily. As Peter Bradshaw said, "those few seconds, brilliantly economical and tense, are simply more psychologically convincing and real" (Bradshaw, 2010).
Fig.2. One of the most iconic murder scenes
After a suspense packed sequence in which she is tailed by the law, she runs into a small motel, a motel that is Hitchcock's chosen destination in which the rest of the story will unfold. Creating one of the most iconic horror scenes of all time Hitchcock does what he does best and hands out the information that is needed to hold the suspense in the upcoming moments, that by no means halt the progression of suspense.

Hitchcock spared no expense at throwing in tension, horror and mystery into this film. With quick edits, overhead camera shots and long pausing sequences, Psycho is varied in it's delivery, but gives the same thrilling results. David Jenkins pointed out that "it was the first movie to show a toilet flushing, so we might also credit it with spawning the entire gross-out genre" (Jenkins, 2010), though however childish it may seem now, but was deemed "too disgusting" to show.
Fig.3. Psycho(logically deranged)
Psycho is a very gripping tale, and reveals a very shocking conclusion, of both the film and the mentality of the "Psycho". Many have used the iconic shower scene as inspiration for the horror genre, as well as the comedy market which are in the forms of parodies. R.L. Shaffer summarised it's impact on the genre quite nicely by saying, "while some (very few) have done the slasher formula better over the years, without Psycho offering unforgettable inspiration, those films might never have existed" (Shaffer, 2010). Whilst it may not prove to be the most horrifying thriller in this modern age, it would be a mistake to think this was a blind knife in the dark.


Figure.1 Alfred Hitchcock (1960) Psycho poster. At:
Figure.2 Alfred Hitchcock (1960) One of the most iconic murder scenes. At:
Figure.3 Alfred Hitchcock (1960) Psycho(logically deranged). At:


Peter Bradshaw (2010) Guardian. At:
David Jenkins (2010) Time Out. At:
R.L. Shaffer (2010) IGN. At:

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