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

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Alfred Hitchcock creates anxiety in the shower scene from

“Psycho” by using non-diegetic music to build tension and

using Mise en scene to give the maximum effect.

Fear or anxiety is the feeling of discomfort, the feeling of

not knowing what’s going to happen or even the feeling of

insecurity. Many people enjoy that feeling and go to the

cinema to get it.  They go for the pure thrill factor that the

horror films provide. One of the most famous directors for

causing anxiety is Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock was born in London on the 13th August 1899 to a

William and Emma Hitchcock. At 16 Hitchcock studied

engineering and navigation at the university of London and

got his first taste of film at paramount studios as a title

designer for films, this is where he met his wife Alma Reville

who he married in December 1926. Alfred Hitchcock then

worked his way up the movie food chain and went on to

direct such masterpieces as “Psycho” and “Vertigo”.

Unfortunately Alfred Hitchcock died on the 29th of April

1980 aged 80 years old.

The story of “Psycho” is an extremely interesting and

different one. Marian steals $40,000 from her boss and runs

away to be with her boyfriend Sam.  On the way she is forced

to stop due to terrible rain and pulls in to the Bates’ motel,

here she meets Norman Bates and is brutally murdered by

what you think is Norman bates’ mother. The police, Sam

and Marian’s sister searches frantically for her, but when a

private detective finds Marilyn’s name on the guest book he

is intrigued to speak to Norman’s mother which ends fatally

for him! When the detective vanishes Sam and Marian’s

sister visits the Bates’ motel and discovers how Norman

Bates dresses up as his dead mother and goes on psychotic

killing sprees!

In this essay I will mostly focus on the shower scene and will

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be analysing;

  • Mise en scene
  • Sound
  • Camera
  • Editing

Mise en scene is what is put on the screen and why it is put

there. It includes a range of elements to make films

effective. It includes Props; settings; hair; costume; facial

expressions; colours used in the film and positioning of


Mise en scene in “Psycho” is extremely effective especially

for its time; the setting and props give the film a real edge,

which helps to thrill the audience.

In the ...

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