Alfred Hitchcock produced the 1960 film “Psycho”. It was described as the “mother” of horror films. Hitchcock wanted the audience to be terrified and afraid. The film was made in black and not using colour. The film’s title is a suspenseful and tension-building piece. Psycho can be translated as mad or mentally disturbed. This film’s title is unusual. It has a strong and profound meaning.
The terror “Psycho”, which creates fear in viewers, is not due to the violence of the murders. It is a subconscious identification with the film’s characters. Hitchcock suggests that anyone can feel the basic emotions and sentiments of the film because there is always a battle between good versus evil in every aspect of life. Hitchcock successfully uses character parallels and creates the audience’s subjective part in the story to entice terror. This scene was terrifying, thrilling and shocking for its psychological impact. Horror doesn’t depend on blood or gore. The horror is based on the psychological mind. Imagine being in a bathroom, feeling safe and then being attacked by someone. Marion’s expressions as well as her screams is what makes this horrific. Even though we never see the knife enter the corpse, we can still hear the sounds and screams Marion’s death making it seem all too real. Hitchcock plays with emotions, thoughts and feelings. This is again a psychological distressing scene. Instead of showing the audience the knife, he makes them imagine it. This makes the scene stronger, more intense, and more believable. The shower scene makes it clear that Norman Bates’ mother was Marion’s killer. Norman cleans out the scene, then takes the body to his car. He then dumps the body into the river. Norman Bates’ creepy behavior is magnified when he takes the body and cleans it. Norman smiles devilishly while he waits for Norman’s car to sink in the water. This instantly makes people wonder if Norman really enjoys helping Marion.
Marion seems to be reaching to something in her final moments. It could be that she feels herself losing control and needs to feel something. As she falls over the edge, her hand finally finds the shower curtain. The scene shows that Marion was actually washing her blood away with the tap. This shows that cleanliness symbolisms can be used to purge the darkness as well as to cleanse one of their lives. This scene ends with an extreme close-up of Marion’s unmoving eye.
It is obvious that the audience realizes that they are staring into death. The scene also shows the sadness in the eyes of the woman. It was likely that the audience had formed a bond with her, and that she had left so many things to finish.
You can see the knife holding figure by zooming in on different angles. As Marion is unaware of what’s behind her, this adds tension to the scene. The zoom also emphasizes the possibility of something horrible. Another close-up of her hand. This time, she tilts her head downwards to show her hand falling slowly. This is her last chance to live as an intruder stabs and kills her. We don’t know the identity of the murderer, so suspension is again raised. Marion is repeatedly stabbed by an intruder as the music suddenly gets louder and more frantic. There are a few images that clearly show Marion being stabbed to the stomach. Others also show the attacker trying to stab Marion. This scene is most frightening because it creates fear in the audience.
One of these shots was from the shower scene. The intruder was at Marion’s eye level. This reinforces Marion’s position and makes it feel even scarier.