Old Horror Movies: Psycho

Returning to my series of blog posts on ‘Old Horror Movies’, I shall take you into the psychotic world of Norman Bates. It’s not a pretty one, plus he has an avid fascination with stuffed animals and birds. Let’s just say, he likes to get his hands dirty.

Hello my pretty…

Psycho directed by the infamous Alfred Hitchcock, is the story of a beautiful secretary, Marion Crane, who wishes for more in life than the ‘9 to 5’ shift. She wants money and she wants it quickly. When the ‘opportune-moment’ arrives and the stash of money is dangled in front of her eyes, temptation hits; as a cat to milk she licks the evidence clean and tears herself away from the world she once knew, driving straight into her doom at the Bates Motel.

Norman Bates is a good-looking young man and Marion’s sexual drive begins to rev at the sight of him as she accepts tea and sandwiches in his office and later, or so it has been interpreted, gives herself some ‘fun-time’ in the shower. Little does she know that Norman is safely watching her through a peep-hole. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if he’d just have had Facebook to treat his snake’s eye?

The shower scene is easily the most famous Hitchcockian moment of the film, with many people knowing of it without seeing the film. There has been an abundance of psychoanalytical theories attached to this film: Marion’s slick blood spraying the walls as her sins wash down into the symbolic drain hole of hell, the phallic sword of the vengeful mother gutting her son’s love interest revealing her as Barbara Creed’s lustful term of the monstrous feminine, and the shower curtain resembling the not-so-hidden veil of the hymen, are just a few to name.

Of course, the film does not just revolve around the infamous scene, but holds much more horror within its motel walls. Who is Norman’s mother lurking in the window, ever-watching, ever-seeing and ever-knowing? Tightening the noose and jerking on the tether, Mrs Bates holds a firm grip on her son, whilst he grips the ‘peeping tom’ trophy.

Please do stay a night, though it will be your last.

With Psycho coined as a ‘timeless classic’ and as one of the most coveted black and white horror films of the 60s, if you have not seen it prepare to be chilled with a tale of lust, vengeance and surprising twists. This is horror at its most tantalising, most brutal and its most psychotic, with no other film even coming close to its haunting mark.

Posted on September 15, 2011, in Film Takes, Horror and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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