Essay on Alfred Hitchcock 's Film Psycho

1084 Words May 23rd, 2016 null Page
Alfred Hitchcock 's 1960 film Psycho saw audiences introduced to a shy, isolated, but derrannged character - Norman Bates. The uncomfortable combination of both sympathy and disgust is slowly revealed through Bates ' history and the events that change him during the movie. Using sound, camera angles, and reorganisation of the generic conventions of horror films, Hitchcock constructed Bates ' character in a way that kept the audience in suspense as to whether he was truly a monster or just a young man suffering mental-instability.
Norman Bates was originally written as a middle-aged, overweight, disconsolate man; a character screen audiences would recognise, but not embrace. Hitchcock "permenantly altered the face of the horror-film monster" (Freeland 2000, 161) not only by casting a skinny, fresh-faced Anthony Perkins whom audiences already knew as a young romantic lead, but by inviting audiences to feel sympathetic towards him. Audiences felt sorry for Bates because of his good looks, his deprived life, isolation from the world, and relationship with his destructive mother. To enahnce the boy next door look of Norman Bates, before filming began Hitchcock gave Anthony Perkins $100 to spend on clothes that would become his costume.
The most chilling part of the film is not the violence or the haunted house but the character and psyche of Bates himself, whilst he technically is not a monster he "resembles the impure beings at the core of the concept of art-horror"…

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