Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and written by Joseph Stefano, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam, and was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film centers on the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath.
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Why It Rocks
- Chilling and impactful black-and-white cinematography in the 1960s.
- The actors give great performances, especially Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates.
- Excellent character and story-development.
- Norman Bates is an insane, memorable and very sadistic horror villain.
- Many memorable moments, such as the iconic shower scene with Janet Leigh's character being murdered and the hair-raising music that plays in the background.
- Amazing musical score by Bernard Herrmann.
- The music also has some great symbolism like how the theme song pretty much represents Norman Bate’s split personality.
- Norman Bates' home and motel is a nightmarish piece of art.
- The reveal of Norman’s mother being long dead and that Norman was disguising himself as her while killing his victims is an amazing twist.
- The music but that play’s during the shower murder scene is super iconic.
- The ending is very suspenseful, with Norman’s evil grin adding fear to the scene and becoming one of the most iconic shots in the film while Norma Bate’s voice plays in his head.
On the review aggregator website RottenTomatoes.com, Psycho holds a 'Certified: Fresh' score of 97%, with the critical consensus stated as, "Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it".
- After Janet Leigh worked on the shower scene, she took baths for the rest of her life.