• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

By referring closely to two scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's film 'Psycho' (1960), give your views in detail on how the director uses the soundtrack and the camera to create fear and suspense in the audience.

Extracts from this document...


Saneeta Mandil 9R 12th July 2002 By referring closely to two scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's film 'Psycho' (1960), give your views in detail on how the director uses the soundtrack and the camera to create fear and suspense in the audience. 'Psycho' is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most well known and famous films. The film was made in forty-one days and at a cost of 80,000 dollars. It was shot in black and white to save money but also to create more impact. The film opens with a black background to create fear in the audience. We then see the director's name, Alfred Hitchcock and the title of the film in the centre of the screen in medium, white text against a black background. The title then splits repeatedly, horizontally and vertically to reveal the rest of the credits. The horizontal and vertical splits suggest and already prepare us for the split personality of Norman Bates. Piercing, high-pitched notes of violins and the deep deafening notes of the cello are introduced to break the silence. The tempo of the music is rapid and frantic to generate terror in the audience. The staccato rhythm of the string instruments also adds to create tension and a perturb feeling. ...read more.


As the police officer opens his car door, we see the police badge printed on it. As the officer exits his car, he is walking towards the camera. This effect makes the audience feel that he is walking towards us. The low angle shot is used to convey his authority. This creates fear and makes the audience feel threatened. This scene is made up of many short, sharp cuts, mainly in big close ups. All natural sounds are heard to build up tension and suspense. As the police officer is at Marion's car side, he knocks on her window. In this shot Marion is lying down. As she hears the knock, she wakes up immediately and abruptly with panic. As she looks at the officer, she appears to very nervous and overcome with anxiety. Her eyes are extremely wide and bold as she is filled with fright. This scene cuts to Marion and then to the officer many times. The camera shows a subjective shot, from Marion's point of view so when he is looking at her it appears to the audience that he is looking at us. This makes us feel what she does. Dark sunglasses blank the police officer's eyes out so we cannot tell what he is looking at. ...read more.


A subjective shot of the knife is shown to produce the feeling that the figure is almost stabbing at us. Rapid shots are shown of the killing, twenty-eight shots in twenty seconds. Several shots are used of Marion moving from side to side and struggling to defend herself to show that she cannot stop the killer. The camera swoops in with a high angled shot of Marion's blood draining away in the bath. A big close up of Marion's hand is shown as she slides down the wall. As this is taking place, the deep, heavy sounds of the cello is heard. We see Marion turn around and slide down further, as she does this she reaches out her hand. This suggests she is maybe reaching out to us or to the shower curtain. In the final shot, we see the camera panning to show the blood of Marion draining down the plughole to suggest that her life is draining away. The camera zooms into the plughole where an extreme close up of it is shown and is mixed with Marion's eye. The eye then becomes a staring, lifeless, emotionless eye. This suggests that we see, hear and think no more from her eye. For its time 'Psycho' was one of the most frightening, psychological thrillers ever made and even by today's standards still has the power to terrify. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. Through close analysis of two scenes from 'The Sixth Sense', discuss how the director ...

    audience a hint that Dr Crowe isn't actually alive but because the audience assumes that Dr Crowe's wife has been waiting for him because she's paying the bill, the audience totally misses the hint of Dr Crowe being alive or not.

  2. How Does The Film Maker Create Suspense In The Sixth Sense?

    Although Malcolm doesn't interact with any characters apart from Cole, with enough concentration he can affect the physical world (when he throws a brick through the shop window). This has been adapted form the film Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

  1. Exploration Notes on Medea

    people and some by lone voices, varying the texture of the sound. Having the number of voices increasing within one line also added impact. Moving together also added emphasis and focus to certain points. We used all these techniques when we performed scenes with the chorus from the play, and

  2. In a 1963 interview, following the phenomenal success of "Psycho" Hitchcock agreed with his ...

    As the shot stays stationary Marion slowly slides down the wall, draining out of the shot as if her life was draining out of her body. The audience watched it all happen so quickly and now Hitchcock makes them watch her slowly die as if punishing them for not doing anything.

  1. Wish you could banish it into room 101? Well my guest for tonight has ...

    (Audience laugh and Paul goes red) Paul: You're such a liar! You're the one who used to call me that and then mum found it hilarious so she started calling me it as well I used to hate it! (Audience chuckle) Jenna: (Laughing) Oh I only did that you to stop embarrassing me when I was on the phone.

  2. How does Hitchcock create suspense and tension in the film "Psycho?"

    When Marian is talking there is an oval frame on the wall behind her head. This shows that her personality is very easy to understand. Beside Norman there are big birds, which give us a big shadow beside it. The camera also gives us a shot on the big black house.

  1. As a director explain how you would present the chorus in your production of ...

    This part of the piece, the chorus are on one side against K. To demonstrate this they all look down upon K who is at this stage on his knees in the centre of the mob. The chorus shouting their lines at him, in unison would then begin to trail

  2. How does Alfred Hitchcock create anxiety in the shower scene from Psycho

    In the shower scene I feel the most effective moment is when Marian is being attacked, this is because the Mise en scene is exceptional! The victim is wearing no clothes which makes her more vulnerable particularly when he pulls back the shower curtain- her only barrier from him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work