Thursday, 22 October 2015

Psycho

"Psycho" (1960, Alfred Hitchcock, Paramount Pictures) is a famous psychological thriller based on a novel by Robert Bloch. It's probably one of the most iconic in the horror film genre.

We follow Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a desperate secretary who decides to skip town with a large sum of money belonging to her employer. She sells her car, buys some new wheels and checks into the roadside "Bates Motel", ran by the peculiar and awkward owner-manager, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Norman makes polite, on-edge conversation with Marion and offers to make her something to eat.

While he's off making sandwiches, Marion overhears him having an argument with his mother from the house. Later, he and Marion eat in the office where Marion accidentally touches a nerve that sends the unassuming Norman into a shocking fury. Marion excuses herself and retires to her room, where she is later attacked by someone wearing elderly woman's clothing with a knife, in what is easily one of the most recognisable scenes in cinema.

A truly stunning film to watch, "Psycho" remains a firm favourite. From its careful scripting, excellent acting, murderous scenes and shocking reveal, "Psycho" truly changed the face of horror cinema for the better and paved the way for a new generation of violent and shocking films.

Norman Bates is such an interesting character and portrayed so excellently by Anthony Perkins that the viewer cannot help but be enthralled. His explosive temper and unnerving performance truly draws you in.

Janet Leigh portrays a strong female lead who, despite her untimely demise, cut a determined and striking figure which was (and still largely is) absent from the horror genre.

A classy film which provides chills and screams without becoming gross, "Psycho" was not only a game changer, but remains chilling to this day.

[Image: Paramount Pictures]
Hani