Alfred Hitchcock Psycho Critical Analysis

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One of the most iconic filmmakers of the classical Hollywood era is Alfred Hitchcock. And perhaps one of the best works by him is the movie Psycho. Made in 1960, Psycho started out with actually a lot of negative criticism by well-known movie-goers and critics. Labeled “a violation of good film construction”, the movie turns out to be packed with brilliant plot twists and turns (Kendrick, 6). And in the back end of this brilliant presentation is the subversion and the creativity that has driven the iconic Alfred Hitchcock. The shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous “Psycho” successfully combines a setup, on-screen graphic horror and unexpecting outcome into one of the most powerful and unconventional cinematic sequence in its era, …show more content…
Edward Recchia, in his essay, explains how the pleasure of viewing the screen is all about “accepting the illusory values that society has pre-packaged for us”, what Recchia referenced as “therapeutic theme” (Recchia 2-3). So what happens when this sort of stability is changed in a profound way. That is what Alfred Hitchcock does to most of his movies. And especially with Psycho, and particularly in the shower murder scene, this sort of stability is established than destroyed in less than five minutes. This rupture in stability shows how precious it is to appreciate the balance between order and chaos, between innocence and evil (Recchia 2-3). And to establish this dynamic turnover, there is a constant consciousness from the audience to participate in the scene while still remaining distant from the diegetic world of the film. And here, the idea of suture is subverted. To support this, Jeanne T. Allen stated that “numerous premises about the spectator’s contract with the film, expectations that are fulfilled or subverted, the nature of vicarious experience or psychoanalytic identification remain unstated, with the implication that they are homogeneous and unified” (Allen 54). She pointed out the fact the suturing of the audience with …show more content…
Dissecting the sequence, Raymond Durgnat divides the sequence into six major narrative points: the intro, the peacefully sequence of Marion showering, the entering of the villain, the constant shot-reverse shot of the killer and Marion’s struggle, Marion dying, and Marion lies dead on the floor (Durgnat 128). Kendrick asserted that a total of six shots are from Marion’s viewpoint and a spiking sixteen are from the mother’s viewpoint (Kendrick 8). These all more than 70 shots were described in the script with only one single sentence: ‘Mrs. Bates stabs Marion to death in the shower.’ And within these shots, we get enough of Marion’s terrified face from the point of view of the murderer and the murderer strong frequent cuts that we are emotionally attached to what she is feeling. Even at the end, we have a drain shots transitioning into her lifeless face on the floor. This transition to the extreme close-up of her eye provides a subtle opportunity for total identification. What is she thinking? What are her last thoughts? All these questions hover as the camera slowly zooms out to

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