There is a point when Marion is driving home as she has a headache. Marion’s boss sees her driving and gives her an infuriated look. This slightly shows empathy but maintains the suspense in the audience as they will want to know what the boss is thinking and what action will he take against Marion. The camera angle shows a long lasting medium shot from Marion’s point of view. There is a long lasting close up of Marion’s face while she is fleeing in her car with the stolen money. Her character starts to have thoughts which are playing around in her mind. Then there is a policeman who is gradually getting closer to her and this shows Marion getting quite worried. The audience at this point start to feel a bit scared for Marion, as her flee might be coming to an end. The police man stops her and the audience see Marion hide the stolen money behind her back. This is where irony takes place when the audience know Marion is in possession with the stolen money, but the other characters don’t. Her actions towards the policeman are quite worrying and it starts to make the policeman suspicious because it makes Marion look guilty and that is why the policeman carries on following her. The policeman looks inhuman, with his tinted sunglasses. When we look at his huge eyes it reminds us of a huge insect just staring directly at you, and wanting to do something. While Marion is on the run, the music in the background is very deep and slow, with steady notes and it makes us enthusiastic to find out what might happen.
When Marion arrives at the Motel it appears to be very isolated and secluded. It has a little sign on it saying Bates Motel but it is very unclear to see. This could give us the idea that the Motel does not want to be found and it creates suspense in the audience because they may wonder what the story behind this unusual looking motel is. There is also a large traditional looking, gothic house on the hill. This would make the viewers think that there must be someone there, because there is a shadow of a woman and only one light on in the house. This creates tension because it makes the viewers wonder that there are four bedrooms and only one light on, so what must the rest of the motel look like. It is portrayed like a haunted house, due to the peculiar feeling of the dull image.
When Norman Bates enters he seems like a very nice and well mannered person which suggests that if he was to be the “Psycho” no one would suspect him of being one. He hesitates awfully when he is picking a key for a cabin and finds Marion one which is “closer to the office” incase she needed anything. We hear Bates mother’s voice for the first time when she is complaining that she does not want Marion to come to lunch with him. 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. Bates also confides in Marion and says “it is her illness I hate; I hate what she’s become”. This suggests that Bates has a fixed opinion about his mother. However Marion replies “why don’t you put your mum in a madhouse.” Bates starts raising his voice and looks at her in a creepy way. The music is very tense in the background and Bates adds that “she is harmless” and “all she needs is me.”
Bates attitude fits in with the negative views to life and he is known to be the striking force of the story. Norman Bates has a fascination with death. He has stuffed birds on the wall all around his parlor. Bates refers to them as “more than a hobby, it’s to fill time.” This implies that he is a very lonely man and this maintains the suspense in the audience as they start to feel remorseful. Bates even says how “a boy’s best friend is his mother.” This suggests that he is attached to his mother in an emotional way too, but he wants to be broken free from his trap that she sets out for him. He says that “people always mean well, but then come out as oh so delicately” and “if you love someone you don’t do that if you hate them.” This suggests that he has a split view about his mother and that he loves and hates his mother at the same time. This creates suspense in the audience because it starts to make the viewers a bit anxious and afraid of Norman. Even though he has such a terrible view of his mother, this suggests that Bates always needs someone by his side because he tends to feel lonely at times but wouldn’t mind if he left her to suffer.
The most important part of the whole movie is the shocking “shower scene.” As Marion leaves the office to get ready to go to bed, Bates listens to the shuffling next door and then pushes aside a picture; which was of a women being raped, which shows a fascination of cruelty, and immorality. Behind the picture he looks through a keyhole and sees Marion getting undressed, tense music starts here, very slowly but then gradually gets faster. As she undresses and goes into the shower, it’s all quiet, except for the sounds of the water. Around 50 cameras were used in this scene, to show Marion from different views, from below, the sides, and above. Marion throws the bank statement in the toilet and there is a continuous shot so you don’t know what else is in the room. There is then a close up of her to make sure the door is closed before she steps into the shower. The cameras zoom in on different parts of Marion’s body parts by starting off with her legs. There is then a quick shot of the shower head before the shower rain starts, which could be, heard, and that created an eccentric feel, as there is usually music in the background. A few seconds into the shower we can see Marion’s shadow through the curtain and there is a deliberate close up on her while she is moving around in the shower. The camera again for the second time zooms in on the shower head and then show’s a continuous shot of Marion taking up the whole screen while her lips are moving. Then just the shower curtain came into view. There was a person there, like an old lady. She looked quite humble at first, because she kept her hands together, but then the shower curtain was pulled dramatically as Marion turned around. They show small different shots of different facial expressions used by Marion and they also zoom in to her mouth which shows her screaming. There are very quick changes in the shower scene and this reflects how quickly the action takes place, there are also many point of view shots both of the victim and the killer. This suggests that the victim’s point of view shots give us the impression that Marion is going to be stabbed. This scene is very dominant because it has shown water in every single shot. Hitchcock shows a Birds eye view of four different shots. When the stabbing starts the editing gets quicker and we can start to see the lighting having an effect on the water, as the color of the water changes from clear to bloody red. We then here noises as the content of the knife is being stabbed into Marion’s body. She then falls down with her back to the wall, and then slowly pulled the shower curtain, indicating her last movement. The curtain blurred our vision, creating a boundary of what should be seen, so it leaves the killer’s identity unknown and makes the viewers wonder about who might commit such a crime. 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.