We meet again, fiends! Sharon here with another open invite to a macabre movie night as our October horror marathon continues. Today I prescribe booking a stay at the Bates Motel via Alfred Hitchcock’s enduring 1960 masterpiece, Psycho. Don’t forget to draw the shower curtain…
While some dismiss it as quaint by today’s standards, Psycho retains an eerie allure even 60+ years later. Beyond the gore, it crystallized the slasher formula and birthed endlessly analyzed themes revolving around sexuality, voyeurism and the warped mind. Not to mention Anthony Perkins’ legendary turn as mama’s boy Norman Bates, the corrupt innkeeper and his murderous mother’s “son.”
Psycho pioneered the art of misdirecting the audience, with Hitchcock famously insisting no late arrivals be admitted to screenings. The shocking mid-movie demise of Janet Leigh’s Marion felt unprecedented, shattering expectations. Hitchcock recognized thrills came not just from gory carnage, but violating the unspoken contract between filmmaker and viewer.
From its shadowy silhouettes to its shrieking violins, Psycho tapped into Freudian fears of the hidden deviant minds lurking behind obedient facades. The innocent motel’s mistress has been corrupted, yet continues “living” through her disturbed progeny’s warped psyche. Bates managed to elicit both terror and sympathy, a testament to Perkins’ brilliance in the iconic role.
And who could forget the dangers that await in the most mundane and vulnerable of places – the shower? That scene alone bore countless imitators, its editing and imagery predating modern jump scare aesthetics. Yet Psycho’s setpieces transcend gimmicks because tension and dread was carefully constructed through mood, performance and music.
So indulge me and let Psycho get under your skin alongside autumn’s creeping chill during October’s witching hours. Understand this craftily deviant thriller still deserves respect aside our modern serial killer obsessions. And relish your post-viewing shower with new unease! Hitchcock will remind you terror often lurks in the familiar if you dare peek beneath the surface…
Sharon, mistress of the night, dwells in shadows, weaving twisted tales of terror. Born under a solar eclipse, she was destined to become the high priestess of horror. From her remote cabin, she scribbles chilling stories by candlelight, channeling vengeful phantoms. Her sinister tales slither into your mind and coil around your deepest fears. Read her work, if you dare…but be prepared to sleep with the lights on.