Psycho (1960) Review


Marion Crane a secretary ends up with $40,000 from her employer’s client and decides to go on the run, she might regret that when she checks into the Bates Motel run by a rather strange young man named Norman, who is controlled by his mother.


Marion Crane is a very relatable character even to this day, sick of the way she has been treated at work and life in general. Having to meet her lover Sam during lunch breaks and frustrated that they cannot get married due to lack of money. When the $40,000 is in her hands she cannot help but set off for a new life. She feels everyone knows though and is against her. This is when the suspense really starts when she is driving around in her car, suspicious of everyone she meets.

Heading to the Bates Motel really was not a good idea as Norman seems a little bit too nice and too shy. No other guests in the motel? Surely that should make you want to quickly leave? Well, you would think so. The build up to all of this was so tense. I think the issue with Psycho is that even on your first viewing (this was mine) you probably already know a few of the scenes and the twist ending. It was such a shame I already knew all of that, but I guess when a film is held in high regard like this one it is only natural that spoilers would be revealed by now.

The shower scene. Surely one of the most well-known in cinematic history? Was so shocking at the time to kill off a central character early on in the film. Hitchcock didn’t mess about and it certainly makes a very interesting story and film. From that moment on you know that nobody is safe, no matter on the level of star power.

Things aren’t going to be that simple for Norman though after the killing of Marion, her sister and lover Sam are not going to give up on her so easily. More people will make it to the Bates Motel. The best thing about this film is the suspense building up along with the music. I mean how amazing is the score? It really does help place it as truly great and terrifying experience. At times the music is actually scarier than the actual scenes.

Anthony Perkins is truly outstanding as Norman Bates, I actually confused at times because I found him rather charming in a sad lonely way. He does not appear to be anything but a shy man, which I guess is what makes it all even more terrifying. He totally seems “normal” if we can even use that term anymore, that is something that really makes the character even more amazing. Janet Leigh is very good as the conflicted woman not sure how to change her life. Vera Miles was equally as good as a very strong female character who is not going to give up on her sister at all. John Gavin was a nice supporting actor and added that little bit more to the film.

I am truly pleased that I have now seen this very impressive and tense film, a true cinematic great. Something that might be mentioned quite a lot when it comes to films, but I can safely say that this one really does deserve it. Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense and I can understand why this is one of his most popular pieces of work. I will be watching it again in the future, I am now in the Psycho club!


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