Thursday, October 29, 2015

Psycho (Spoilers! (a lot of them))

 Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was shot as a B-movie, meaning it had a low budget. He ended up creating a classic thriller full of iconic shots. The infamous shower scene and musical score is easily recognizable by many. Even though I hadn't seen this movie before these components were still familiar to me.

Psycho was a very unconventional film riddled with plot twists. We follow Marion Crane, who steals $40,000 and attempts to run away. Her white bra in the beginning symbolizes her purity and innocence, but in a later scene we see her wearing a black bra, showing she's been tainted after taking the money. We follow Marion on her journey where she trades in her car and pulls into a secluded motel, Bates Motel. She acts suspicious and her guilt is obvious through out all of this. Bates Motel is where she meets Norman, an awkward mama's boy whose passion is taxidermy and birds. She lies to him about all her information and goes by an alias when checking in. Then, Norman invites her to have dinner with him where they get to talking. Norman obviously develops a crush on Marion and compares her to a bird. Shortly after being introduced to his character, I had a sense that something was a little weird about Norman. Norman is the first person Marion has had a casual conversation with since running off with the money, which I believe helped her come to her senses that what she was doing was crazy. While talking to Norman, Marion subconsciously reveals her information and says to him that she's going to return to Phoenix. This is when the audience is mislead because you are set up to think Marion will go back and do what's, but before she even gets the chance to Hitchcock kills off his protagonist in the iconic shower scene.
Marion is stabbed numerous times in the shower by who seems to be Norman's mother, although we never see the attacker's face. The non diegetic violins play loudly along side the character's screams and the shots of blood flowing down the drain make for a pretty gruesome scene. This is a huge twist because we're left wondering how the film will go on without it's main character. Norman meticulously gets rid of the body and any evidence as if he's done it all before. Alfred Hitchcock does an excellent job at revolving the rest of the film around Marion's story without her. As the movie goes on we learn that the man who Marion stole from is looking for her and his 40 grand, so he has hired a private investigator. After discovering that Marion was not with her boyfriend, he looks for her in motels in that area. The private investigator eventually gets to Bates Motel, where he questions Norman. Norman tries his best to lie to him, but is unsuccessful due to the inconsistencies of his story and nerves. He lets Marion's sister and boyfriend know that Marion has been at Bates Motel. The investigator makes the conclusion that Norman killed her for the money she had. Just when we think, he has a lead on figuring the whole thing out, the screech of the violins play again and he's stabbed to death by "Norman's mother". At this point the audience is lead to believe that the mother is the psycho and Norman loves her so much that he covers for her. That, however isn't the case.

Once Norman realizes that people are going to be looking for Marion there, he hides his mother in the cellar. There's a scene of him carrying her down the stairs from a birds eye view, yet we never really do see her face. This scene threw me off from my prediction of the mother not existing and instead Norman having a split personality and actually being the killer. I had made that claim to Luz prior to this scene and believed I had it all figured out because Norman and his mother had never shared a scene before this one. I think it was clever for Hitchcock to include this because it supports the idea that Norman's mother is crazy and has been the one killing all these people. However, I learned that my original prediction was right, when Marion's sister and boyfriend go to Bates Motel to investigate. They check into the motel as a couple and snoop around. When the sister goes into the Bates' house looking for the mother to question, we all kind of have the same thought of "Don't go in there, she's going to kill you!" She goes into the cellar where we were lead to believe the mother was hiding. When she approaches Mrs. Bates, we're all anticipating the mother to stab Marion's sister. But, instead the body turns and reveals a corpse. The shrill screaming all scary movies have, comes from Marion's sister now, and then the door bursts open. There's Norman with a knife in his hand dressed like an elderly lady and not far behind him is Marion's boyfriend stopping him. Never having seen this film before I was genuinely shocked and also slightly upset with myself that I didn't stick with my prediction. I love to guess what happens in thrillers like this one, but all the twists in Psycho made it kind of difficult. Alfred Hitchcock does an amazing job creating and timing all his plot twists to keep you guessing. I think he saw making a B-movie as a challenge to direct an unexpectedly great film.


  1. This post is competent; while it certainly meets many of the length and mechanical requirements, it should be split into more paragraphs since the walls of text make it a bit of a chore to read.

  2. For your first blog post I really dig this! I would rate this post as competent! I would like to see more of your opinion on the movie and what led you to guessing the correct ending.

  3. Damn dude, you wrote so much. I believe that your blog post is the best I'll ever have read. You ruined the rest of the posts for me. Exemplary.