Be careful in the shower... — 2 years ago
Psycho is perhaps Hitchcock’s best-known film, the iconic shower scene probably one of the most famous in cinema, having been parodied numerous times (even on the Simpsons!) and well known – even down to the music – by those who’ve never seen the film. I watched it for the first time a couple of years ago, and saw it again recently.
Psycho stars Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, who after stealing forty thousand dollars and going on the run ends up at the ill-fated Bates Motel, run by the reclusive Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). She is pursued by her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin), sister Lila (Vera Miles) and a private detective Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam), but will any of them be able to discover what happened to Marion?
Psycho does not begin like a horror film, but more like a love story, and if you didn’t know anything about the film you might assume it was simply about Marion’s boss trying to track her down. The film works really well as you end up caring about Marion before her inevitable death. The famous shower scene is brilliantly filmed – apparently the movie was filmed in black and white in order to keep costs down and prevent this scene from being too gory – and manages to be scary even though I’d seen it before in various different guises.
The whole film is a bit of a mystery as you try to work out who killed Marion. The story is so embedded in popular culture that I already knew who the murderer was, but other parts of the plot came as a surprise to me. In any case, the whole thing is so well done and the tension builds up really well that even on a second viewing it’s exciting!
Psycho is definitely worth watching, even if you don’t normally like horror films – it’s not particularly gory (and is certificated only 15, not 18) but it is very intriguing and very well made. Despite the 60s sets and clothes (the film was made in 1960) it doesn’t feel dated at all. Be warned though – you might not want to take a shower again!