Sunday, 13 February 2011

Psycho 1960 | Alfred Hitchcock (Review)
Fig 1 | 'Psycho' Film Poster

Another feature directed by ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ in 1960. Needless to say the ideology behind this of all works bring and uncomfortable fact about the human mind as well as for it time horrifying those who watch the story unravel. Once again Hitchcock has developed a film that looks at the darker side of man and the evils we can perform. 

The Synopses revolves around ‘Marion Crane’ (Played by Janet Leigh) whom steals $40,000 from her client.  The madness soon hits home as one night entering a motel off the freeway she meets a young motel owner whom has been too long under the domination of his mother. As the investigation for Marion continues the motel becomes the prime suspects as more people begin to disappear.

With Psycho, his blackest, most cynical and most manipulative feature, Hitchcock introduced the American Nightmare strain into the genre – David Parkinson. Furthermore Hitchcock movie in today’s society looks like it has taken the individual piece from many horrors and thrown it together in one horrific movie. Needless to say that it’s more the reverse as Hitchcock ideologies for the horror genre can now be seen in most Thrillers and Horrors. Moreover the big success such as ’The Texas Chain Shaw Massacre’ directed by Tobe Hooper and ‘Disturbia’ directed by D.J.  Caruso; Display the ideology which has now been aptly called ‘Hitchcockian’.  Theory as side Hitchcock use an everyday person, or object and puts a dark and almost satanic spin on it nevertheless making the film’s  plot a little bit too relatable and in turn a possibility in reality. As for ‘Psycho’ Hitchcock sends a clear message about the way we are as human moreover the insanity of the mind. 

This is present in both Marion and Normans (played by Anthony Perkins).  Marion although is more subtle in a way and is hidden behind the 'victim' title. As we enter the first scene the woman seems in control and yet when Sam Loomis states they can’t be together due alimony; Marion outburst that she wants to marry him. Hitchcock therefore clearly states Marion desperation to be with Sam and for this reason will do anything to help through the alimony charges. Therefore Hitchcock’s imply insanity of love within this scene, which is strengthened by her robbing the $40,000 soon after. This effect however is very clever as is show on small amount darkness in the human nature. In turn a ‘slow build-ups to sudden shocks that are old-fashioned melodramatics, however effective and sure, until a couple of people have been gruesomely punctured and the mystery of the haunted house has been revealed. - BOSLEY CROWTHER.For this reason we expect Marion to be the one of insanity until we encounter Norman bates.
Fig 2 | Marion In Shower Scene

Bates’ posses the young looks and the harmless physical stature. Knocking him out of the running of being a psycho at the beginning but as the scene at when Marion and Norman meet subtle hints suggest him to be insane as he peers through a peeping hole at Marion as well as being suspiciously close to his mother. Moreover the ideology is Freudian without doubt and affects the viewer in a familiarising way of the boy being attached to the mother. Still the very nature curdles the blood as he is being complaining about the mother and changes dramatically when suggested by Marion to take her to the ‘Mental Home’. This is Hitchcock talent as we immediately believe that the insane person is that of Norman’s mother and as see the famous shower scene we believe that she is the monster. With his technique he supplies little hints to guide us to the truth but kept us at an arm length keeping ourselves engrossed in the mystery of that motel.
Fig 3 | Marion Dying In The Shower
Due to this we found ourselves holding the chair as Lila Crane comes into contact with Norman’s Mother and as we see it to be a skeleton and that Norman is the psycho –cross dresser we are immediately discomforted by the scene. Due to the fact that it was hidden so well not by Hitchcock but by Norman furthermore by keeping the secret hidden to the end Hitchcock send the message that even in insanity we are still intelligent. A horrifying thought which has plague movies of the same calibre. As example the idea that we can be out thought by the insane can be displayed through the last scene of ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre...The Beginning’ Directed by Jonathan Liebesman use the same tactic showing the heroine looking like she achieved an objective. (Be it escaping rather than trying to find the mother) but at the last second Leatherface appears from the back of the car and kills her with the chainsaw.  In conclusion as a ploy to the viewer this is a startle and make us question if those who are insane can still have some sanity to cover or even prevail with their plans. As for Hitchcock’s Psycho the horror is that of Norman in the final scene as he sits with the blanket around him. The monologue sends a chilling shiver down the viewers spines a he states (or shall his mother states that she didn’t kill them and that she is innocent and will be free) Hitchcock therefore leaves it open to suggestion what happens next and toys with the idea of the killer being free again.
Fig 4 | Insanity Taken Over Norman (Mother Thinking Of Escape)

As a whole  What makes "Psycho" immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten as we leave the theater, is that it connects directly with our fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mothers. - Roger Ebert. Moreover , it looks at the mind of man and how we are ultimately changed by a certain event or problem.  For Marion we see her becoming insane due to her love for a man and how she’ll do anything to be with him. For Norman the film depicts it's a perfectly realised, visually rich, and chilling look at masculinity and schizophrenia – David Wood. As a result Psycho toys with the mind of man and question our sanity making it immortal to cinema and Hitchcock the director who began the true horror of the human mind.
Fig 5 | The Believed Assain - The Mother Dead

List Of Illustrations

Fig 1 Hitchcock Alfred (1960) 'Psycho' Film Poster
[Film Poster] From: Psycho

Fig 2 Hitchcock Alfred (1960) Marion In Shower Scene
[Film Still] From: Psycho

Fig 3 Hitchcock Alfred (1960) Marion Dying In The Shower
[Film Still] From: Psycho

Fig 4 Hitchcock Alfred (1960) Insanity Taken Over Norman (Mother Thinking Of Escape)
[Film Still] From: Psycho

Fig 5 Hitchcock Alfred (1960) The Believed Assain - The Mother Dead
[Film Still] From: Psycho


Crowther, Bosley (1960) Psycho
 (Accessed on 13.02.11)

Wood, David (2000) Psycho

No comments:

Post a Comment