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In the history of horror movies Hitchcock's film Psycho broke new ground. Explain why this statement is true.

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Introduction

In the history of horror movies Hitchcock's film Psycho broke new ground. Explain why this statement is true. Ever since the first horror movies were produced they have attracted huge audiences seeking to be scared, chilled and thrilled. Horror movies are so popular because the audience can get the adrenaline rush of being scared without actually putting themselves in danger, and also the audience ultimately get a rush of relief at the end of the film when the killer is killed. This is the same reason why people go on roller coasters because you get the adrenaline rush and then the relief when you get off. Also often horror movies are highly sexual films, and what's more it's a great excuse to hug your girlfriend! Horror movies started in the 1920's with German masterpieces of the silent era such as the ''Nosferatu'' directed by F.W Murneau (1922). Then came the 1930's American Horror films (mostly from Universal Studios) that used previously existing plots. Many of these depended on the acting presence of Boris Karloff and Bella Lugosi. Karloff's most famous character was the original Frankenstein monster and Bella Lugosi will always be remembered for his role as Dracula. ...read more.

Middle

The film is based on the true story of Ed Gein a farmer from Wisconsin who killed and mutilated a number of young women and his mother. The setting of the film provides a visual equivalent for a psychological state. The American gothic house, with its cellars and mysterious doors is quite an imposing, intimidating and even frightening looking place. The image of this dark and sinister house is used well to contrast the events that unfold in the film, because the events unfold in an everyday, normal context. The second way that the film re-defined the genre is that with ''Psycho'' the viewer is implicated into an amoral world. First of all when Marion runs off with the 40,000 dollars. Instead of the audience disliking her because she has committed a crime, Hitchcock has manipulated the audience's feelings by the circumstances of the crime. She is stealing the money off a tax dodging rich man and she is stealing it to get married. It is because of this, the audience want her to get away with it. Therefore Hitchcock has removed all sense of right and wrong. Also, the film is different to all other horror movies before it because the audience start off identifying with the main character ...read more.

Conclusion

It was such a groundbreaking film it created its own sub-genre of the 'slasher' movie, no previous film had dealt with violence so directly. ''Psycho'' challenged accepted film going conventions buy making the audience lose identification with the main character early on in the film and at the end of the film it offers no closure, so the audience are still scared even after they have left the cinema! The film also broke a variety of different cultural taboos like the scene where Marion has just made love to Sam, this was sex outside of marriage this was not even talked about let alone put into a mainstream film. She was stabbed to death naked in the shower. None of this had ever been done before, even the killer was completely extraordinary, on the surface he appeared to be the average boy-next-door but really he was a cross dressing psychopath who thought he was he mother. It may seem tame now compared to modern day horror movie killers, but at the time it was a revelation. Also it was so different from classical narrative tradition, it was the forerunner of modern filmmaking style that is films as emotional events. So, now I hope you understand why Alfred Hitchcock's ''Psycho'' broke new ground. But not only did it break new ground, it changed the film world Forever. - Thomas Down ...read more.

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