Movie Monday: Psycho 1960

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It’s the reason I sometimes peek around the shower curtain to make sure I’m alone. It’s why I always examine hotel room walls for mysterious holes, and why I will never stay in a motel. It’s also one of the most iconic horror movies of all time, brought to us by none other than Alfred Hitchcock himself.

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Marion Crane was so innocent and sweet before she started her afternoon trysts at an LA motel with her soon to be divorced boyfriend. Why just as quickly as she exchanges her white bra for a black one, Marion decides to run away with $40,000 without thinking of the consequences.

Plagued with regret and paranoia, Marion decides to stop at a quaint little motel to rethink her actions and get some rest. Of course, nobody ever hears from her again…. and so her sister starts the hunt that eventually leads back to the Bates Motel and its creepy young owner, Norman. Ah, Norman Bates. Such a nice guy he seems to be. You can’t help but wince at his every stutter. But what is he hiding in that big old house on the hill?

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Compared to modern horror movies, Psycho might seem a bit like a stroll through the park. Thankfully, most of the acting in this 1960s horror flick is top notch, so you won’t be giggling through the entire thing (as sometimes happens when I watch 1960s “scary movies”). This period in movie history showed no rated R slasher scenes or realistic special effects that we’ve come to expect from horror movies today. The suspense in Psycho is created by the anticipation of horror, and by the little bits we are allowed to see, here and there. It’s just enough creepiness to really make me a little squeamish when I shower (I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the famous shower scene), without keeping me awake at night. The perfect classic horror movie, in my opinion!

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13 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    such a great review mandi. i love psycho dearly and can’t stand to watch any other “horror” films out of pure fear. but hitch sure made a winner with this one: a smart scary movie. :)

  2. Kara says:

    A girl after my own heart…err… neurosis. I, too, am constantly checking behind the shower curtain. Hitchcock really is the king. I was embarrassingly terrified to take the compost out after seeing The Birds at age 13.
    Cheers,
    Kara of
    http://www.fancythatvintage.blogspot.com

  3. Emily Keen says:

    I’ve been trying to get my husband into the mood to watch this movie and it seems like he’s so used to the slasher films of today that he’s just not interested in something that he feel won’t scare him. I think this will have to be our Friday night movie though.

  4. Frankie says:

    I’ve never seen Psycho but I saw one scene in a random movie on tv where a vampire appears in shower and bites a lady’s neck. Since I saw that like 10 years ago, I have not been able to close my eyes in the shower. I blame that scene for the many times I’ve gotten shampoo in eyes.

  5. I didn’t remember the bra scenes at all. I can’t believe when I last saw that it was when I lived in my parents’ basement while they had a Bible study upstairs. :( Now I feel extra guilty.
    Anyway, I love Hitchcock movies and think these films are always better than today’s awful horror films. . .which is why I don’t bother with them (but bother with Hitchcock plenty!!)

  6. Fenn says:

    I love Alfred Hitchcock. He’s my fave.

  7. Karen says:

    I just watched this Sunday night! Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to see this one of Hitchcock’s. Such a great horror movie!

  8. I just recently watched North by Northwest and it was so great! Love a little Hitchcock.
    Kacie

  9. Mri says:

    I’ve watched this movie for at least 5 times :D We saw it in class a week ago ^^ I like the movie, but sometimes there are really long parts in it :)
    xxx, Mri

  10. Sasha says:

    This is one of my favorite movies ever. It’s iconic status drew me when I was quite young and Hitchcock’s masterful undertaking of suspense snapped me up for the rest of the ride. I could go on and on about this movie. It’s just too good!

  11. Laney says:

    I love your fabulous reviews and this film.

  12. Jaclyn T says:

    Mr. Boyfriend and I watched this movie this weekend. It was so good. Norman is uber-creepy.
    –Jaclyn T
    TrickArt Jewellery: Nature Inspired
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/trickartjewellery
    http://www.positiveponderings.blogspot.com

  13. Sue says:

    Excellent film! My mom told me that when this was released, that Janet Leigh was a huge star, and it was quite shocking that she gets murdered in the early part of the film. It was totally unexpected to most moviegoers back then.