While the visual of a film tell us the story, music is used to inform the viewer how to feel about the scene or action taking place.  Music implies the mood of a scene and can provide realism and a sense of the character’s feelings- all which receive the attention of the viewer.  Music can intensify or lighten a scene to give a certain mood to the viewer.  In Psycho, the intense music gives an eerie feeling to the audience.  During the scene where Lila, Marion’s sister, is searching through the house for clues of her sister, the music is taunting and suspicious; suggesting to the audience that something frightening is about to occur.  The music manipulates the scene, signifying the intensity and horror for what’s to come.

       Psycho is an extremely creepy film overall.  The storyline, the dialogue, the music, the acting and the symbolism of the birds all provide a disturbing feel to the movie. Norman Bates provides an awkward, uneasy conversation.  While sitting in the parlor with Marion, he discusses his hobby of stuffing birds.  He watches as she eats intensely and compares her eating to a bird.  Hitchcock seems to find birds creepy as he had them throughout the film.  There were pictures of birds in the motel room and stuffed birds hanging in the parlor that stared over Marion as she ate with Norman.

Although Norman is covering up his “mother’s” murders and we may find him distrustful, I found myself liking him as well.  As I look back at the film and try to understand why I was siding with him at times, I cannot find a reason and that disturbs me.  He appears to be a decent guy just looking after his mother, yet he knows exactly how to cover up a murder.  As he speaks to Sam, Marion’s lover, Norman stutters- leading us to believe he is simply nervous on his mother’s behalf; he is just trying to protect her.  However, that is not the case and as we learn Norman is the mother, my attitude toward him is altered- making me feel normal again.

The twisted ending was completely unexpected and that is what I loved about it.  Some may say it was predictable but Hitchcock found ways for us to question our theories.  If we had believed Norman was the mother from early on, Hitchcock had us questioning ourselves by using the corpse of the Mother and Norman’s impersonation of his mother’s voice.  Once I saw Norman carrying his mother, I had no doubt in my mind it was his crazy mother committing the crimes.  Who else would be yelling at Norman?  Who would he be carrying to hide for their wrong-doings?  Hitchcock purposely led us to believe it was indeed Norman’s mother was the psycho committing the murder.  Who would have thought Norman, a decent young man who cares after his mother was the psycho?  Overall, all the twists, creepiness and disturbing feelings led to a great horror film.

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  1.   alivingston Said:

    on November 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Nice Post! I like your take on Psycho. I also enjoyed it and can watch it over and over again and remain on the edge of my seat. Hitchcock is truly brilliant!

  2.   Mitchell Mays-George Said:

    on November 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Great post. I think that this is a great movie. The intensity of the drama and and plot and musical scores really capture you and bring you into a whole other world intellectually and artistically and your post really reflects that.

  3.   alopez Said:

    on December 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks! It really did creep me out at times but I love the film. It’s not like typical horror films we see today where the horror scenes are predictable, it kept me on the edge as well. I look forward to watching other Hitchcock films.

  4.   cyna13 Said:

    on December 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Love how you began your post by mentioning the music! This is probably the most memorable score in cinema history, and THE SCARIEST score in horror! Everything about it heightens the suspense. I agree that the birds used in Psycho is definetely creepy….and Norman’s attractness to them is even more disturbing.
    I also find myself liking Norman Bates as well….even though I do still find him disturbing. I believe Hitchcock was purposely trying to win the audience over Norman. He is at first only viewed as a shy akward guy with boy like appearence. At times I even felt sympathetic towards him whenever he spoke about his overbearing mother. And of course the shock at the ending got to me.

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