Styrofoam critic (click here for home)

November 10, 2011

Psycho (1960)

Filed under: Film Comment — Daniel Min @ 11:27 pm


Alfred Hitchcock whom I consider the doyen of all horror film directors (maybe except for the founder of the Giallo horror genre, Dario Argento) created such an abhorrent picture that not only did I found disturbing, but outright appalling. An Englishman with a mentally maladjusted sense of humor who can properly utilize such distinctive features throughout his body of work, using countless images of birds, voyeurism, overtly sexual portrayal of women and underlying sadomasochistic male behavior. His most famous work “Psycho” definitely has all the elements to frighten the audience however some might see this film as inferior to all his other works (An argument that I would like to support had if not been Anthony Perkin’s remarkable acting).

One scene that I found displeasing was Norman Bates being in the same room with the prospective murder victim as she’s having a snack, discussing about the trials and tribulation of the human existence, falling into the traps of insanity that society deems unwelcome thus having to establish a mental institution for the mentally insane. A mad house consisting of cries and agonies of the individual such as Norman Bates who happens to be one of many ideal subject of psychoanalysis. The human imprisonment described by Bates made the audience fully aware that he himself is sick much like the distraught relationship with his mother.

The mother and son relationship that was brought forth to conclusion left me puzzled when I first saw this movie however the second screening left me curious as to whether if Hitchcock had shared the same experience that Norman Bates suffered. Overall everybody have their own reason to express some aspects of human misery from the past however society can justify for those who murder and those who don’t.

The last film that I’ve seen with Anthony Perkins is Franz Kafka’s the trial. An alluringly spectacular eye feast that left me deeply attached to his acting that became even more apparent in his portrayal of Norman Bates. His unsettling calm look will certainly unease the audience’s comfort zone and will furthermore lead us into the dark places where we choose not to look. Psycho is masterfully crafted from the hands of Hitchcock. I will be looking forward to watching the rest of Hitchcock’s works later on, especially his take on Patricia Highsmith’s enigmatic novel “Strangers on a Train”.

 The Eye of the Voyeur. . .

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  1. Speaking of Argento, I cannot understand the hype behind Suspiria for the love of me o_0
    I think this film is pretty high in the Hitch canon, perhaps Vertigo being the only film more famous, but even with that being said I DO like a bunch of his other works more than this. This film definitely grew on me. The first time I saw this I thought it was a piece of crap, the 2nd time…masterpiece. I haven’t seen The Trial yet but it’s also on my watchlist. See Strangers on a Train ASAP!!! It’s wonderful 🙂

    P.S. “Celine and Julie” was flipping AMAZING.

       lyoung101 — November 12, 2011 @ 3:03 am

  2. You introduction was impressive. Because you compares Hitchcock to another person in film, made it seem like you did research and are well informed on what you were talking about.

       Raaj Mangroo — November 12, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  3. Thanks Raaj, part of this post is from my research for the final project for our english class. Although I am somewhat well informed of Hitchcock’s work, Sometimes I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to his directorial style.

       Daniel Min — November 13, 2011 @ 1:16 am

  4. Daniel I found it interesting that you were curious as to whether or not Alfred Hitchcock was similar to Norman Bates. I guess its a weird observation but we will never know if it is true or not.

       nlobello824 — December 16, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

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