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#70: Psycho

December 22, 2009

It turns out with all this movie theater going I’ve been doing recently (and who can blame me, it’s Awards Season!) I have neglected the fact that there is still a plethora of classic movies out there that I have never even watched.  And upon a recent realization that I’ve never seen an entire Alfred Hitchcock film, I figured that fact needed to change immediately!

So what’s it about?: A woman on the run after stealing $40,000 decides to check into The Bates Motel where some chaos ensues.

The Good: This movie is suspenseful as soon as the credits start and the creepy score is cued.  The shots were beautifully done, the story well formulated, and the acting was spot on.  Plus, any movie that can be suspenseful even when I know how it ends is good in my book.  Bonus points for Norman Bates being the cutest, most unassuming psycho killer of all time.  No one would have suspected him of anything, and that made it all the more scary.  And may I add that after watching this and The Haunting I’ve come to the conclusion that all horror movies should be filmed in black and white.  The shadows and lighting add a whole new level of scary and preys on a universal fear of the dark, when our eyes only see black and white.

The Bad: Frankly, despite the fact that it is wonderfully shot, the famous shower scene is, well, kind of laughable.  I mean, they did well with their limitations, but the should have done less.  Frankly, if a woman is stabbed multiple times in the back and slides down the shower wall, the wall is not going to remain white!  And I’m not saying it needed more gore (the cleanliness of the scene was almost refreshing in a sense) but the shots just needed to be retooled so there was no need for gore.

The Verdict: If you haven’t seen this, don’t put it off like I did and go watch it (it’s streaming on Netflix)!  This is a classic for a reason, and it’s a classic that stands the test of time (unlike the now laughable Exorcist).

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One comment

  1. First of all, props on keeping this going. I totally let myself forget about the blog during the holiday madness.

    Secondly, see Vertigo, another Hitchcock film that is pretty damn good. Another thriller/mystery that is a pretty good mindfuck.

    Thirdly, see Rear Window, my favorite Hitchcock film. Takes place in one apartment with Jimmy Stewart looking out the back trying to solve a murder with a broken leg. Beautifully done, wonderfully paced, and great performances.

    Also, what did you think of the lack of dialogue for a good portion of this film? It’s almost 45 minutes of it being dialogue-less if I remember right.



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