"A boy's best friend, is his mother."
One of the most iconic films that have ever been shown in the cinema theatres is Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'. This is hailed time and time again in Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 List of Scariest Films of all time and since its first release it hasn't stopped making audience walk out of this without having felt a sense of fear!
All hail to the magnificent filmmaking of Alfred Hitchock who first decided to direct 'Psycho' as a low-budget black and white film in order to turn away from the big-budget films he had been making since then. He hired a TV crew, made sure he would do exactly what pleased and experimented technically on the boundaries of the 'thriller' genre.
Nowadays it's hard to come across to a good, genuinely hands-down thriller. Hitchcock made it worthwhile though; first he set up the common-place plot which goes like this:
"A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother." (www.imdb.com)
Pretty straight-forward but at the same time with more than what meets the eye, 'Psycho' is set-up of course somewhere remotely, where people would not think of looking for 'evil' to appear. The eerie atmosphere and the gloominess of Hitchcock's cinematography relies on making sure the trickery of using multiple angles of the 'crucial' scenes in the film, even though some of those more momentous scenes would only last in the last edit less than a minute, the viewer had the opportunity of getting a glimpse of the surroundings from many perspectives, thus giving it this way a more life-like sense of the horror.
One of the most well-known and iconic moments is the 'shower scene' . Actress, Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee-Curtis's mother) was wisely cast for this particular role as it would take an amount of seven days of shooting just for the shower scene and making sure that her on-screen action would be one to be remembered by. Not only did Hitchcock cleverly shot this scene from 70 different angles but he made sure that nothing would be exposed of his actress, the music would be as horrific, scary and suspenseful as it possibly could, and that the viewer would be so taken aback for what was coming that they wouldn't be able to forget this scene for years to come.
Without wanting to give to spoil the real shocker in the film, I shall simply extol the superb performance by relatively newcomer then Anthony Perkins, who albeit he did not have the career one could have hoped for, he sure did give a performance of a lifetime. His ability to improvise on his role and the distinct characteristic of facial manipulation which he had, made the audiences reel for what was coming and since then he has managed to spread the real fear and horror through his simplistic and yet powerful performance.
This film is hailed as one of the scariest films of all times for the simple reason that is simplicity, its sheer uniqueness and the fact that it was so under-budgeted and film in only 30 days and Hitchcock's first horror film, make it a distinguishable achievement for the horror-flick-lovers.
'Psycho' stands out for numerous reasons; the most important of all it's ability to lure you in and shock your brains out like you haven't before. Worthy to mention as well, the brilliant and yet spookiest most horrifying musical scores ever to have been written for a thriller. You can listen to it here! This is not a film of gore or waiting for the killer to strike, but more of a film of silent horror waiting to suck you in!
For all the horror-genre-lovers out there, this one's not to be missed for sure!