Psycho movie 1960 essay

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Mid 20th-century filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock had to be constantly aware of the stringent production code that determined whether or not a film was suitable for theater audiences. While Hitchcock had become very skilled in tricking the MPAA censors into letting him have his way, he definitely pushes the envelope as much as possible with his depiction of hidden sexuality in Psycho. He constantly underlines the connection between sexuality and shame. Sam and Marion need to keep their sexual attraction secret because they are not married.

Norman watches Marion undress through a peephole, and his "mother" punishes him for his sexual urges by killing Marion. We later learn that Norman was jealous of his mother's sexual relationship with a new man, which is what led him to commit matricide ten years before. However, gossipy Mrs.

Psycho Review: Original vs Remake

Chambers points out society's disapproval of the widowed Mrs. Bates taking a lover by emphasizing that Norman found their bodies "in bed" together. Finally, when Lila is investigating Norman's bedroom, she finds a book with nothing printed on the cover; its contents cause her to raise her eyebrows. The implication here is that the book contains pornography it was common in Victorian times for pornographic material to be published with a blank spine.

In this way, Hitchcock cleverly portrays the sexual proclivities of his characters without explicitly demonstrating them to the audience. Kohlberg believes that the development of morality is primarily an issue of……………….. What does she do with her car? Marion Crane stops at a car dealership to trade in her car for another. She looks very suspicious doing this. Psycho study guide contains a biography of director Alfred Hitchcock, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Psycho essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Remember me. Forgot your password? Buy Study Guide. As Clover points out, some elements in the Psycho formula needed to be changed in order to have a genuine final girl. It is not merely a question of enlarging the figure of Lila but of absorbing into her role, in varying degrees, the functions or Arbogast investigator and Sam rescuer and restructuring the narrative action from beginning to end around her progress in relation to the killer.

She survives the psycho-killer, but still needs some help to escape a pickup driver. Taking that into consideration, I would argue that the first complete final girl is Laurie, in Halloween. Not only she escapes the killer, but gets to kill him on her own even though he gets to survive, due to his indestructible nature. In Halloween there's a very interesting aspect.

Character Analysis Psycho (1960)

Free Essay: Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho Psycho, by Alfred Hitchcock, was shocking for its time. Made in the 's when film censorship was very tight to. Free Essays from Bartleby | Psycho When asked what they remember from the The film Psycho caused a huge amount of commotion in when it was.

As I have been arguing, in this film, the final girl no longer needs the hero to subdue the monster. In Halloween , Sam Loomis arrives late at the scene of the crime. Wes Craven, or House of Corpses. The motif revolves around the confrontation between the city, the urban landscape, and the wilderness of the countryside. Psycho offered us for the first time a place as the Bates Motel, located in an abandoned solitary road, due to the recent construction of a highway.

The same story, but taken to the extreme will be featured in the movies I mentioned above. I find particularly interesting, and a further development of this idea, the confrontation in The Hills Have Eyes. Here, it's not only the urban landscape versus the countryside, but also two different ways of understanding life and human relations. On the one hand, the Carters, a middle-class family from Los Angeles; on the other, a primitive clan of scavengers ruled by a monster figure named Jupiter. As the movie will show, the violence will be present in both families.

Craven will succeed in showing that they are two sides of the same coin. In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , five teenagers go on a road trip to encounter a family of cannibals.

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There is a solitary roadside gas station and a gruesome family home. Maybe the clearest comparison may be established between Psycho and House of Corpses. In Rob Zombie's movie there is the gas station again which is also a freak show and chicken stand here and especially the old dark house clearly reminiscent of the Bates Motel.

One of the most important features of contemporary horror is the depiction of explicit graphic violence. Again, Psycho constitutes a first foray into this new tendency. Paradoxically, the famous shower scene is based on showing but without actually showing anything. What Hitchcock does is to create the illusion of showing through editing. The opening of the body from this moment on will become a sign of the horror film. In Clover's words:.

The horror genres are the natural repositories of such effects; what can be done is done, and slashers, at the bottom of the category, do it most and worst. Thus we see heads squashed and eyes popped out, faces flayed, limbs dismembered, eyes penetrated by needles in close-up, and so on.

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In these films, the opening of the body becomes real. In them, bodies are literally opened, dismembered with a chain saw, or eaten alive.

The film Psycho Essay

Hitchcock, as I have been pointing out, is a very innovative director, within the frame of classical narrative cinema. Similarly, Psycho is very innovative, but within the frame of classical horror. Hitchcock is, therefore, a pioneer on opening new paths, but without abandoning the main road. He went even further with Frenzy Here, he showed graphic violence.

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Search for:. The audiences can easily sympathize with Norman even as a ruthless killer for his crimes can be apportioned to his evil mother. Marion can not return because she has done a bad deed and feels guilty that people are worried about her. Movies By Year 90s 80s 70s 60s 50s 40s ss. However, a few scenes later, after Marion has stolen the money, we see her in black underwear. This is a revolutionary movie. This film falling under the horror genre was based loosely on the novel of the same name which drew inspiration from real life serial killer Ed Gein, who has been the motivation for two other popular movies, "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

But it was so unbearable that he chose to introduce some humor. The scene with the potatoes is a perfect example of this. The ultimate example of the depiction of violence but without humor can be found in a film such as Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer dir. John McNaughton, McNaughton shows us one violent murder after the other with the precision of a cold blooded surgeon. There is no emotion, no fun, no laughs at all, just the brutal depiction in a semi-documentary style of the savage atrocities of a serial killer.

Hitchcock never did something like that. In Psycho , there is nothing shown, but only suggested. Clover comments on the shower scene:. The others present us with a rapid-fire sequence of shots of the knife, of the shower, of Marion's face, arm, and feet, finally the bloody water as it swirls down the drain and dissolves to the image of a large, still eye. The horror resides less in the actual images than in their summary implication.

I would argue that the shower scene is the most influential scene in the history of the horror genre. Most horror films after Psycho included one reference or another to this scene. The brutal stabbing, the shot of the hand with the knife, and the dead eye of Marion, are landmarks in the history of the genre. To show the pervasiveness of Psycho in contemporary horror genre, I would mention an award-winning short named Aftermath The film is about what happens after death to a female corpse in an autopsy room.

If I have brought it here, it's because it contains an explicit homage to Psycho , with a shot clearly reminiscent of that of the water flowing into the drain, along with Marion's blood.

I think this shows beyond any doubt the influence Psycho has had and still has in filmmakers around the world. One of the most characteristic features of classical narrative cinema is the closure. Psycho is a starting point for the defiance of that rule too.

The film ‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock: [Essay Example], words GradesFixer

At the end of the film, an oscillating movement takes place between the closure and the non-closure of the narrative. The explanation provided by the psychiatrist provides a sort of closure to the narrative. But then, the speech of the 'Mother', inside the body of Norman, works against that closure. Cut to Marion's car being pulled from the lake. This particular scene provides again a sort of closure to the story. But again, that closure is broken, with the parallel lines which traverse the screen, as I said above, in reference to the restoration of the order of the world.

In Psycho there is an imperfect closure, but it's a closure after all. Hitchcock went further three years later, with The Birds As William Paul argues in Laughing Screaming. A perfect example of attack on closure can be found in Carrie dir. Brian De Palma, Paul says:.

The film ‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock

Carrie's hand suddenly thrusting up through the charcoal, breaking Sue's reverie to grab her by the arm, produced the requisite scream Carrie 's ending was the most direct assault yet on closure's dominance in Hollywood films. The absence of closure has become over the years in another constant in contemporary horror film. Leatherface with his chainsaw against the sunset, Michael Myers coming back to life over and over again, and Jason Voorhees emerging from Crystal Lake in the dream sequence at the end of Friday the 13th are just examples of this tendency that, again, had its origin in Psycho.

The soundtrack in Psycho is another landmark in the history of the horror genre. One cannot imagine the shower scene without the music it has. It seems hard to believe that Hitchcock didn't want any music for the scene.

Bernard Herrmann wrote it anyway and after having heard it, Hitchcock thought it was too good to discard it. But anecdotes aside, the music in Psycho , and in particular in the shower scene, is fundamental for the ulterior evolution of the horror genre. The violin in that scene is so effective because it is used as percussion, suggesting knife strokes.

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If the volume is strong enough, one can feel the knife strokes as penetrating his body. From Psycho on, horror movies started to pay attention to the sound effects. One excellent example of this is The Exorcist dir.