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

In 'Psycho' how has Alfred Hitchcock created tension throughout the film and what effect does this have on us as viewers?

Extracts from this document...


In 'Psycho' how has Alfred Hitchcock created tension throughout the film and what effect does this have on us as viewers? Alfred Hitchcock was a famous director during the late 1950's and early 60's. He was born in 1899 and died in 1980. He was known as the master of suspense for creating tense and thrilling films including 'Psycho' and 'The birds.' In 1960 Psycho was released and was a big hit in Great Britain and America. This film shows how a young woman, Marion, falls in love and steals a large amount of money and to then begin a new life away with her boyfriend. As she runs away, she finds a motel to spend the night. Strange and scary things begin to happen here and the level of suspense and suspicion begins to rise. Tense films make us, as viewers, insecure and unsure about the environment around us. ...read more.


This allows the audience to be frightened in the view of the victim and feel sorry for the victim in the view of the killer. A high angle shot of the victim and a low angle shot of the killer is also used to make the killer look as though they are over looking the victim, being more powerful. The sound of flesh being torn is put in after the scene had been filmed. This is called a non-diegetic sound. A close up of Marion's hand on the wall is shown after she has been murdered, in the shower, and again of her hand reaching out to grab the curtain in the shower. It seems as though she is reaching out to the audience for help. But we are unable to help her. This again makes us feel helpless. As she grabs it there is a sudden movement of the curtain coming off the rail. This symbolises her heart stopping as she crashes to the ground with a thud. ...read more.


If he uses a simple everyday area and turns it into an unsettling pool of suspense, we think that the same situation may come upon us. Hitchcock has created tension by using a number of techniques that are very effective including pathetic fallacy, camera shots and the way a character may speak or act towards another person. I think that without these techniques the contrasting relationships between the killer and it's victims would be a little unclear. Also using these techniques the killer always remains anonymous making the murders more tense and puzzling as to make us think who it is. Not only are the cinematic techniques effective but also the use of music adds to the moments that are tense and worrying. The same staccato sounds are used every time an event occurs and sometimes begins to build up indicating that tension is rising. I think that 'Psycho' is very successful in the criteria of being tense and thrilling and that is what's kept it so popular today. By Ali wade ...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 Films 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 Films essays

  1. How is suspense created in different film genres?

    to understand how intimidating and domineering her figure seems from Ginger's perspective. The suspense is that Ginger has danger coming from all angles and the audience are wary as to whether she will survive this. Just another kid's film, you say?

  2. Analyse the ways that the director builds suspense and scares in the film JAWS

    Another example is in the last section of the film out at sea on a boat. When the shark manages to both overturn and crack a part of the boat and eventually makes it sink the audience realises just how much power and anger it possesses.

  1. Describe Hitchcock's techniques and themes in his classic film, "Psycho"

    Here, the water washes away the blood from her body, the plughole almost draining the life from her. The blended image of the eye is shocking because it is fully open, linking to voyeurism - the audience watching Marion in the shower, and it also emphasizes the fact that she

  2. How does Hitchcock create and maintain suspense in the 1960's film 'Psycho'?

    Could they be staying at the other house? Why doesn't Norman mention the other person, but instead keeps them hidden like a secret? It makes us focused on the other house. So it grabs the viewer's attention, and makes them curious simultaneously. Norman also confides in Marion. He says, "it is her illness I hate, I hate what she's become".

  1. Psycho. The shower scene is the key scene because this is the scene ...

    feels confused as they have seen Norman spying on Marion but yet someone else has killed her). The scene is filmed so well that people actually believed that they saw the knife go into Marion when it really never touched her.

  2. Psycho Essay-Shower Scene Analysis. Shot in stark black and white, the film Psycho ...

    actors in the camera shots to subtly show to the audience the emotions of the two characters and who has power in the conversation .He also uses lighting to show the personalities of the two - next to where Marion is seated there is a bright light so there is

  1. Media coursework: Psycho

    These opening titles introduce the themes of anxiety and tension. Although the relevance is not immediately obvious to the audience the lines could be interpreted as representing a knife cutting through a person. Suggesting a horror based content of the movie, hence making the audience feel apprehensive and starting to create tension.

  2. Crash Film Essay. The principal job of any film should be to please ...

    Craft: Two shot of Ryan and Hansen ? the dark and the light (juxtaposition of good and evil) sets us up. Dialogue : When you?ve been in the job for as long as I have you?ll look at things differently.

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