Terrifying is just one way to describe Alfred Hitchcock’s intensely frightening film known simply as Psycho. It is so scary that by the end you are bound to be nervous about staying in motels or at least be too mentally scarred to consider using a shower for a very long time. It is just pure Hitchcock.
After running away with a load of money our friendly protagonist, Marion Crane stops by a motel and meets a man named Norman Bates. However it turns out that Marion is not destined to be the main character all thanks to the infamous shower scene which is definitely one of the most horrifying moments that has come out of Hitchcock’s numerous films. Following her disappearance Marion’s sister Lila searches for her with the help of Sam Loomis. Their search leads to a deadly and shocking climax which concludes with a surprise twist ending. The final scene is unbelievably creepy which is fitting seeing how scary the rest of the film is.
The effects of the film were all quite masterly used in some of the more important moments in the story. For example in the shower scene the killer is never shown clearly because they are completely devoid of any sort of colour or detail making them look more like some sort of shadowy figure out a nightmare. The blood used was in fact chocolate syrup which in black and white actually looks much more authentic than any kind of stage blood that was around at that time. The sound of the killer’s knife cutting someone was created by plunging a very sharp knife into a simple melon.
As one would probably expect from an Alfred Hitchcock film there is an array of good performances on show in Psycho. Anthony Perkins is unmatched by the rest of the cast. His character Norman Bates is unsettling and slightly sympathetic because of how brilliantly Perkin’s portrays him. During her time on screen Janet Leigh gives a sad sort of show due to how her end comes just when the audience has started to like her despite the fact that she is a thief. Vera Miles and John Gavin both help give the film a little more story than had Marion been the sole main character in the film. The voice of Norman’s “Mother” is provided by the the voices of three separate people Paul Jasmin, Virginia Gregg and Jeanette Nolan. All three were very good.
While the director has done many great films this is the one that most people tend to think about because of how expertly well made it was and of course because of that incredibly scary shower scene. For me there is one film title that comes to mind when I hear Hitchcock’s name and that is Psycho.