Sunday, September 2, 2018

59 Days to Halloween- 1960 Psycho

Over the next 100 days, I will present one movie of significances in horror, suspense or thrillers for each year from 1919 to 2018. The next film presented here is the 1960 horror classic "Psycho"  starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Psycho (1960)
Dir- Alfred Hitchcock

A whole library had been written about this film and even after nearly 60 years it continues to shock and entertain just as much as it did when Alfred Hitchcock first spoke of the Bates Motel. Everyone knows the story, a beautiful young woman named Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) has just embezzled a large sum of money. She drives away and stops at an off the road motel where she meets the shy Norman. In the short time after we meet Norman we notice him be a bit weird, speaking of his mother. To many viewers, this was a standard crime story but were they ever in for a shock! In what has to be the most infamous and eventful 60 seconds in cinema history we see the main character go down with the quick flash of a blade and a scream that would run down our spines. The movie then shows its true colors, is Norman the killer or is it his mother? The sister of the Marion pays a visit to determine what happens, and we then encounter the second gruesome murder, as an investigator wanders too far into the house. The final climax would forever leave an impression of fear and shock to audiences of all ages. Psycho was such a dramatic film that Hitchcock refused to let critics review it for fear of giving away its climax, and he even went as far to demand viewers not to divulge it. This was very much the same technique used a decade before on Diabolique, which was an inspiration for Psycho. One thing was for certain; Psycho was both a critical and financial success. Spawning so many imitators and a few decent sequels in the 80's. Curiously, Robert Bloch wrote the story based on the accounts of serial murderer Ed Gein, which was also the inspiration for Tobe Hopper's classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and another film named Deranged. Either way, we can thank Hitchcock for giving us one of the best horror movies ever.

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