Hitchcock October Marathon: Psycho (1960)

by Nevin Hooper

TV-14 version

Hello, once again, fans of classic old movies, and Happy Halloween! We are getting into a great film, because we are finally talking about a very, very famous classic film that inspired a whole new generation of filmmakers and horror films: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho!

For those of you who are not informed on my rating system, it is fairly simple. It goes from a 0/10 (movies that are so bad, so horrible, that should have never been made), to an 11/10 (movies that are so fantastic, so amazing, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade).

This film has inspired so many people. It created a horror movie that derived from the scary monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein from the decades before, and showed us that the real monsters, are the ones inside of us. It also very much started the genre of slasher movies that inspired many horror film directors such as John Carpenter and M. Night Shyamalan. Although at first the film gained mixed reviews on some of its themes of violence, over the years it has gained a lot more recognition and is now considered a masterpiece in filmmaking, and is my second favorite film of all time. But, since the original version is rated R, I will be reviewing the TV-14 version which doesn’t have much of a difference between the real version, but it is toned down a little bit.

Psycho tells the story of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, in a Best Supporting Actress nominated performance) who has recently stolen money from her business and has no plans of what to do with it and where to go. So, she is running away from the cops until one night she runs across a rundown hotel ran by the quirky Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins, in a phenomenal Oscar worthy performance), and his unseen mother. As the film progresses, more horrifying secrets are revealed, and the film turns into an edge of your seat, Hitchcock masterpiece.

Personally, this is my favorite Hitchcock film. I adore every second of it. The first act is a perfect set up. The second act is filled with rising uneasy tension, and ends in a final horrifying twist (which I will not spoil in case you have not seen the film) that still leaves audiences shocked (unless you already knew it, which I unfortunately did). The acting, like I said with Perkins, is phenomenal. Hitchcock once again directs this film to near perfection with brilliant wide shots, and excellent black and white cinematography by John L. Russell. The score by Bernard Herrmann contains still to this day some of the best music in a movie, such as his choice of music for the infamous Shower Scene, with loud, piercing, and shrieking violins.

I adore this movie. Every second of it. Like I said, it’s one of my all time favorite movies (only beaten by The Godfather), but I do recommend that you see this film knowing as little as possible. The less you know, the better the film will be. Other than that, this is a fantastic film that I shall definitely give an 11/10.

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