How Does Hitchcock Create Tension and Suspense In "Psycho"?

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How Does Hitchcock Create Tension and Suspense

In “Psycho”?

The film “Psycho” was one of the first Horror movies to have used a human for the killer. Whereas before “Psycho”, people were used to seeing “Super naturals” as the killer in horror based films. Before even seeing the film Hitchcock had created tension and suspense in the audience by, making the audience think that Hitchcock is hiding something from them. We see this in the fact that Hitchcock would not let people into the film after it had started and because there were lots of rumours about the cinemas not opening the doors until the ending of the credits. The following analysis of “The Parlour Scene”, “The Shower Scene” and “Lila’s Discovery of Mrs Bates” will show the tension and suspense.

The Parlour Scene is were Marian and Norman are sitting down to have tea. In this scene Hitchcock uses shots and Angles to show what the characters are feeling and who the characters are. The angles first suggest character by, having pointed objects behind Norman and round objects behind Marian. Hitchcock did this to suggest their characters feelings. The rounded shaped objects behind Marian suggest that she is fragile and suggest femininity. The pointed objects behind Norman show that his personality is Sharpe, as though he is stricter with his words and feelings. The high angle shot, which we see of Norman with his stuffed birds above his head, furthermore shows his unforgiving personality and that he is a freaky person. The music guides us through the moments of tension and suspense, it does this by playing its loudest when there are moments of tension, in this scene the music roles on and slowly fades out. This is to keep us on the edge of our seat, making us think that something is going to happen. The music only starts again when Marian refers to a institute as “Some Place”, this makes Norman swoop forward in his chair. The music starts again here because it is a moment of tension were we, as the audience does not know what is going to happen next.

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The shower scene is the most famous scene in horror movie history, the audience in this scene see Marian dieing in the bathroom. This is shocking to the audience because she is the main character played by famous actress Janet Leigh; this would furthermore make it shocking. Hitchcock created tension and suspense in this scene in various ways. He does not just use sound, lighting and shots to create tension but he merges these techniques together to make the audience feel what is happening to Marian. Hitchcock uses music in this scene to have an effect on the audience’s feelings. ...

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