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Psycho - A Review.

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Psycho A Review By Michael Gays The novel by Robert Bloch adapted into Alfred Hitchcock's benchmark thriller with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. It portrays the story of Marion (Leigh) crane as she drives across the states, with 40,000 dollars she stole from her boss, to her lover Sam. Before she can get there the twisted Norman Bates (Perkins) murders her. When there is no word from her, her boss hires a private detective to tack her down, after a tiring search the detective Milton Arbogast comes across the Bates motel and discovers that Marion has been there. After lingering for a while Arbogast decides to search the motel and the mansion behind it, as he enters the house he climbs the stairs only to be murdered as well. After Arbogast fails to return Sam (the lover) and Lila (the sister) become suspicious that he has either stolen the money or has disappeared under the same circumstances as Marion. The pair decides to pay a visit to the motel. Sam distracts the nervous Bates as Lila goes in search of mother Bates only to discover she is a stuffed body being held in the cellar of the ...read more.


The camera movements he uses are also very clever because in the shower scene when the water goes down the plug the camera rotates clockwise and then we have an extreme close up of Marion's eye and the camera goes out spiralling anti-clockwise. It also dwells on her body for a while to really bring to life that our main character is gone. He manipulates the audiences viewpoint by giving people the first person view like when she is driving the car we have a third person shot. In the shower scene we have a first person view, she looks up to the showerhead and is "washing away her sins" so to speak because she looks so happy about it. The sound effects and music he uses are also very fitting, Hitchcock asked Bernard Herman to compose it entirely with a string orchestra to give a more shrill striking effect when the murder takes place. In some scenes however there is no music like when she is confronted by the policeman and in the parlour scene prior to the shower scene. Anthony Perkins portrays Norman Bates perfectly, He gives a very strong impression of the edgy cautious Norman. ...read more.


There is no music after the attack, as she slides down the wall she reaches out and pulls the curtain down, it is silent until we see the money by the window and the house as Norman Bates shouts as his mother " oh the blood mother the blood." The other scene I have analysed is when the dead mother is discovered in the fruit cellar after Sam has confronted Bates. Lila finds herself going down into the fruit cellar as Bates runs upstairs in search of her. She wanders through the room and finds Mrs Bates she runs up to her and says " oh! Mrs Bates!" And at that point the horrible stuffed figure of the woman is exposed. Lila screams and hits the hanging light just then Norman bursts in dressed as his mother the orchestra starts the murder music again, thankfully Sam bursts in at that point and subdues Norman in a great struggle. We are left with a high angle shot of the room and the shadows moving across Mrs Bates' face as if her eyes were moving. My personal opinion is that psycho is and was a benchmark thriller with one of the most gripping horror scenes ever filmed. This truly belongs as one of the best films of all time. ...read more.

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