1960’s Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock was a masterpiece in its day. It stands as an iconic piece in film history. This film easily changed the way films were made back then. However, for today’s standards the film is pretty boring with terrible effects. The only reason to see the film today is if you are an avid film fan. It’s a very compelling and twisted horror story. The film is not like any other film of this genre.
The filmmakers on this film had to get creative when it came to making effects. It’s not like they could use CGI back in the 1960s as we have today. It was harder to edit scenes as they couldn’t utilize technology to the degree they can in today’s film world. However, for its time the film showcases a creative use of cinematography, with many well thought out and complicated shot types and camera angles. For a black and white film it has a strong use of lighting and sound. These are used to help change the mood from scene to scene. I found the use of music is frequently utilized to create intensity in an otherwise normal scene. For example when she is driving or when Norman is sitting in the holding cell. When using sound they used the voices of characters dubbed over the scene to create that sense of madness. This is seen when Marion is driving away with the money and she is paranoid so she is thinking of the possible scenarios of people finding out about her.
The pacing of the film is absolutely horrible. It is really slow and some scenes drag on so long that you begin to stop paying attention. I don’t think the average person has the attention span for it. Then again, this is in comparison to films of today’s standards, whereas back then it would have been fine. Something I really liked about this film was the setting. It was so simple yet memorable as the name 'Bate's Motel" sticks in your brain.
I like how in this film the perspective changes multiple times throughout. There is not really one main character at the center of it all, or at least it changes as you go through the story. It feels like two stories that are intertwined together. The end of this film is shocking and unexpected. It is truly an eerie and twisted story. This film is not a family friendly movie, and even if kids were to watch it I don’t think they would like it at all. However, if you are interested in the history of the film industry, black and white film, or the origins of the horror genre… this is a great movie for you.