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

How does Hitchcock create and maintain suspense in his 1960s film 'Psycho'?

Extracts from this document...


How does Hitchcock create and maintain suspense in his 1960s film 'Psycho'? Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" is a classic thriller, one of the best movies of all time, and was a groundbreaking film when it was made. It was known as the "mother of the modern horror movies" because it single-handily ushered in an era of inferior shocking killings, blood letting graphics and screen "slashers". "Psycho" was produced by Universal studios and released through Paramount in 1960. Hitchcock was the director and producer of the movie and was given a budget of $800,000; he deliberately wanted the film to look cheap and so he had to use the crew who shot his television show. In the time when the movie was made there had not been many scenes of women with hardly any clothes on and this came to a huge shock to the audience, as having just a bra on was a very rare thing. However Hitchcock explained the reason for filming a woman only in her undergarments in the opening sequence of Psycho: "Audiences are changing....The straightforward kissing scene would be looked down at by the younger viewers....Nowadays you have to show them as they themselves behave." We also see the camera taking us into the toilet, the toilet is known as a very private place and not many films have shown someone when they are in the toilet, they normally show a person either going in the toilet, or coming out the toilet. ...read more.


Therefore when he invites Marion for lunch he again seems like a generous and courteous man, but he does not take the food into Marion's cabin as he is scared that his mother might see him. When Marion and Bates sit down for some "sandwiches and milk" bates says "oh sorry I didn't hear you over the rain." This makes Bates look very suspicious as the light was on in the Gothic looking house so therefore he must have seen Marion's car pull up. Yet when she eats, he comments she eats "like a bird." This is very strange as his parlor is filled with stuffed birds of prey. However this creates suspense in the audience as to why he was watching her eat because the birds of prey are linked to killing. The camera angles tend to switch a lot when he is watching her eat and it constantly changes from Bates to Marion, Bates to Marion and we can also see the huge shadows of the birds of prey. Bates refers to "we" quite a lot when Marion asks about his private life. He says "we all go a little mad sometimes." The audience at this point seems to become a little confused to who the second person may be. ...read more.


The last part of this scene was the zoom in of Marion's eye, and the shower rain still drizzling down. So it created suspense and made us anxious of whom this murderer is. There is a cross fade shot of her eye; blood going down the plughole and the shower head, note here juxtaposition has been used to put different images together. The music in this film was used to add more tension, and to add to the viewer's feelings towards the different scenes. This was the first time this technique was used. Throughout the film different cameras were used to manipulate the viewers into thinking about one problem, like the money, the cameras focused on the money in some scenes, which mislead the audience. The camera uses long shots of the house, to make it look more distant and menacing. It took about a week to adjust the cameras in the right places for the shower scene. The film was cleverly put together using props such as chocolate sauce as blood for the shower scene, and because it was in black and white, the viewers could not tell the difference. The scene where Marion is thinking about what to do with money, slow tens music is always played in the background to add tension the audience. This film was very terrifying in its time and today many people who watch this it movie find it as scary as when was made back in 1960. ...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. How Does Hitchcock Create Tension and Suspense In "Psycho"?

    We furthermore see lots of subjective shots of the house from Lila's perspective, which increases the tension as well. Hitchcock does this to let the audience feel as though they are in the house with Lila, so the audience sees things in the house, as Lila sees things.

  2. How does Alfred Hitchcock create suspense and tension in psycho? Focus particularly on the ...

    was 'mother' and as we have seen when Norman wanted to take her down the stairs she wasn't going without a fight. When Hitchcock first released the film he wanted it to be a horror because it had the key elements of a horror like blood, murder and a lot of tension building.

  1. How does Gurinder Chada create interest and show the conflict of cultures in the ...

    Jess doesn't care about what she wears to the engagement party but her sister embarrasses her because of the attention being attracted by her enthusiasm. However, the shop that the British mother and daughter visit shop represents the idea of British pride in a woman's appearance.

  2. Alfred Hitchcock Is Commonly Known As 'The Master Of Suspense'. Does He Achieve This ...

    about the gathering of the birds and the character does not create dramatic irony. In the third section of the film, Melanie goes back into the school and warns Melanie about the birds outside. Prior to this Annie has told the children to prepare to go outside.

  1.  How does Hitchcock create atmosphere, tension and shock in Psycho?

    Marion sprawls lifelessly over the edge of the tub. The blood is illuminated against the glowing white tiles and surface, the water continues running to run as if trying to clean up the blood streaked tub. We are drawn along with the tainted liquid as it swirls down the drain.

  2. Hitchcock deserves his status as an auteur. Explain why this is so making reference ...

    The birds are key parts of the mise en scene, and references to them in the dialogue, e.g. her name is Crane and she is going to Phoenix, and Norman's movements are symbolic of the predator (Norman) and the danger to Marion.

  1. Analysis of film posters

    Q.5ii How were colours/semiotics were used in this poster and why? The colours/semiotics were used in this poster to show simplicity and possibly death (from their black suits) Their white shirts have been changed colour, to the same as the background to connote heat and conflict and to highlight the

  2. "Let Him Have It" How effective is the end of the film in gaining ...

    But in this frame it has suddenly stopped. Derek's time is up! Special FX are particular to each film and in 'Let Him Have It' the most significant effect is the period detail. The film was set in 1952 so the detail of clothing, hairstyles and everyday objects have to be specific to the period of time.

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