How does Hitchock create tension and suspenseIn the film 'Psycho'?

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Luke Miles 10Sfz

How does Hitchock create tension and suspense

In the film ‘PSYCHO’

Before Psycho was released Hitchock had to publicize the film. He had used several techniques to promote Psycho. An example of one of these would be the colour poster, which misleads the audience a little, but by adding a big picture of Janet Leigh in her underwear, this might suggest that the film is a romance or love film. Although the title ‘Psycho’ was added nobody assumed the film would be about a Psycho or a murderer, as you thought it as about a women on the run from the police. Hitchock bought the rights to the novel anonymously and bought as many copies of the novel as possible so that he could keep the ending of the film a secret so the audience would be mislead and left in suspense. Also Hitchock insisted that no one be allowed into the cinema once the film had started, this lead to huge queues and lots of publicity. The actors were made to swear an oath of secrecy when filming, so therefore the plot would be kept a secret. The audience had to sit in the darkness for a minute afterwards this created and added to the tension and suspense among the crowd, also the audience were left pondering on their own thoughts.

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One technique used to create tension was lighting. In the shower scene, for example he creates a very light lit bathroom. Hitchock uses darkness and shadows to hide and to make the audience feel uncomfortable, as if something was about to occur. Hitchock purposely dimmed the light to obscure the audience’s view of the intruder. When the intruder enters the audience just sees a shadow creep up which causes dramatic irony. The light makes the large figure of a man look smaller. The murderer could be ‘mother’ at this point. Hitchock lights each character differently during the attack. Marion ...

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