Friday Flicks: Psycho
There is perhaps no other horror movie as iconic as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The 1960 film is noted as being one of the famed director's crowning achievements, but the it's origin was anything but easy. Based upon the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch, Psycho was deemed too grotesque by Hitchcock's studio, Paramount, and they refused to fund its filming. Disappointed by his previous directorial effort and determined to revitalize his career, Hitchcock took a major salary cut and personally funded the production of the film. These budget cuts forced Hitchcock to shoot the movie in black and white and created a tight production schedule. While controversial for its "graphic" content, this film was a runaway commercial success. Even though critics were initially mixed in their reaction, Psycho's commercial appeal and audience appreciation has turned it into a beloved classic.
The story begins when Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) steals a large sum of money from a client at the real estate office that she works at. Instead of taking the cash to deposit in the bank, she keeps it with her so that she can elope with her boyfriend Sam. She decides to run away with the money. As she leaves town, chance encounters with her boss and a state trooper add to her guilt and paranoia. This along with an unrelenting storm and a wrong turn leads her to the Bate's Motel.
The dilapidated establishment is run by Norman Bates, a soft-spoken man who invites Marion to a light dinner in his office. Surrounded by disconcerting stuffed animals, Norman tells her about is hobby of taxidermy and about his mentally ill mother who he cares for. Marion takes in this unusual character as she silently grapples with her crime. Overcome by guilt, she resolves to return the money when she leaves in the morning. But, as anyone who has watched the movie knows, that is not meant to be. As she takes a shower in her room, the silhouette of a woman can be seen behind the curtains. What ensues is one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history.
Beyond the famed shower scene, Psycho is a brilliant film that will keep you invested and shocked until the very end. Even if you have seen the movie before, the twist ending will leave you uncomfortable and disturbed. Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates quietly unnerves with his subtle politeness and lanky stature. With composer Bernard Herrmann's haunting score as the soundtrack to this drama, Hitchcock masterfully leads his audience through a sinister tale of murder and conspiracy. While much of the content is tame compared to the gore in modern horror films, Psycho stands as the foundation of the slasher genre and as a prime example of a perfect horror adaptation.
This entry was posted on Friday, October 2, 2015 and is filed under 1960's,Alfred Hitchcock,Film Adaptation,Friday Flicks,Horror,Movie Review,Psycho,Robert Bloch. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.