Psycho (1960) Macabre month of horror #9

 

*Spoiler Alert *

 

(I know this is a very old film but there are still some people who have not seen it yet.)

 

Cover of "Psycho (Collector's Edition)"
Cover of Psycho (Collector’s Edition)

 

Today I’m talking about the black and white masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock.

 

If you don’t know who Hitchcock is then you’re missing out on some of the greatest films ever made. The sheer volume of his output is amazing. He has made classics like North by Northwest“, “Rear Window, and of course Psycho“.

 

Psycho was instantly hailed as a masterpiece as soon as it hit theaters. Once the movie started the theater doors would be locked.Hitchcock wouldn’t have anybody missing even a second of the film. Psycho worked so well when it first came out because nobody knew what it was about. People back then didn’t know that it was a horror movie.

 

The film was said to star Janet Leigh. Which it did, but only in the beginning. The film starts out as a crime thriller, where a woman has stolen a bunch of money and is now on the run. She stops at a motel for the night, and this is where the audience was completely shocked. Janet Leigh’s character is stabbed to death in the shower.

 

Today the movie holds up just fine but there is  an element of surprise missing. That scene as well as the rest of the movie is so well known that people usually know what happens. Imagine you saw the film in the theater when it first came out. You’re watching a crime thriller, then all of a sudden the main character dies and the film switches genre. The movie is still a masterpiece but now is a lot less shocking.   That say’s a lot about a movie like this. When a viewer knows what is going to happen, but the film remains tense and wildly interesting, that is a great directing feat.

 

Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates is one of the all time greatest performances. Sadly this role negatively affected his career. People had a hard time seeing him as something other than a crazy person. Much like Mark Hamill after Star Wars, he had a hard time getting good roles. Anthony Perkins actually underwent psycho analysis from the 50’s to the 70’s. He was really interested in that kind of thing so of course the role appealed to him.

 

Hitchcock makes a cameo as always, as a man who misses a bus in the very beginning of the film.

 

The character of Norman Bates was based off of the serial Ed Gein. The same guy that inspired “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Silence of the Lambs”.

 

Hitchcock isn’t called the master of suspense for nothing. Psycho is a fantastic film that I believe is his finest work.

 

 

After Hitchcock’s death, they started making sequels to psycho. These sequels are a disgrace, and should not have been made. Even worse than the sequels is the remake.

 

 

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