Psycho Film Analysis

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Hitchcock’s Psycho, from ‘Inside Norman Bates’ and ‘The World Inside Its Image’

The benchmark of horror films could easily be Hitchcock’s most revered work ‘Psycho’ (1960). The black and white filmscape does not downplay the crimson colour of blood spiralling down the plughole after Marion’s fatal stabbing, nor the shock of Norman’s mothers sunken eye sockets. It’s 2015 and this is the first time I have properly been introduced to the film however as a testament to its making I had nightmares that evening and since then having a shower is a different experience altogether.

In this essay I will look at two critics ideas about the elements that are at play within the Hitchcock’s Psycho. I will discus Raymond Durgnat’s and Victor Perkins analysis
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In his primary description or Mr Bates, Perkins states that Norman is ““…a painfully shy young man who looks after his intermittently insane mother in the house behind “. His description does not exhibit affection for the character. Conversely Durgnat’s description is warm in tone, stating that “Norman is an engagingly naïve country youth, very honest, unconcerned with making money, almost a symbol of rustic virtue and country contentment. “. Durgnat believes that ‘the film hinges on his (Norman’s) sensitivity and charm (p.109), his ‘friendliness is all the more reassuring in contrast with the sinister atmosphere…”(p). However Perkins focus’s on the changing perspective within the film. Up until the beginning of the notorious shower scene, the spectator shares Marion’s perspective (Perkins p.108). When Marion undresses to get into the shower, Norman peers at her through a hole in the partition. We see Norman’s eye as a ‘pre-echo’ (Perkins p.113) of Marion’s lifeless stare after her attack, Normans perspective becomes dominant in the …show more content…
So the question must be asked what if, instead of Norman’s mind being split into two personalities, his mind is made up of three. Norman’s fragmented mind is potentially segmented into the son, the mother and the smirking janitor (who cleans up after the blood has spilt). At the end of the film, when the psychologist gives reason for the murders, he states that Norman embodies both his ‘jealous mother’ and the ‘dutiful son ' (Psycho, 1960). We are told that ‘Norman’ was not aware of his mother’s murderous side. However this again is at odds for the quite moments behind the Bates house by the swamp when the car slowly sinks below the surface, and the military precision and calm with which ‘Norman’ clinically clean up Marion naked and revenged

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