October Friday Movie Night: Psycho

It’s the very first Friday Move Night of October, and throughout the month I’ll be featuring my favorite Halloween movies starring the creepiest, freakiest, scariest, kookiest, and spookiest characters around! Tonight’s movie is a classic slasher by the Master of Suspense himself, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho!

Yikes! That picture gives me the willies.

While technically a slasher film, Psycho goes so much deeper into psychological horror than the genre is known for thanks to Hitchcock’s direction and Anthony Perkins performance as the mild-mannered Norman Bates.  When Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh, mother of Jamie Lee Curtis from Halloween) pulls into the Bates Motel for the night, she encounters its owner and manager, Norman, who lives in the big creepy house up the hill.  He seems like a sweet guy, maybe a little nervous, but overall he kind of just needs a hug.  Right?  Without spoiling anything, we as the audience join Marion as she descends into the movie’s spiral of darkness and madness as we try to unravel the mystery of Norman and his enigmatic mother and it’s absolutely chilling.

All of the movie’s performances are incredible, but it’s hard to not place Anthony Perkins performance as Norman Bates among the greatest of all time.  He takes on many different shades as the movie progresses, and you can’t help but be spooked by his peculiar stuttering and way of speaking.

Scary movies aren’t particularly scary when they’re stupid, and Psycho is among the most intelligent that I’ve ever seen.  It blends straight-up slasher terror with psychological intrigue and three-dimensional characters that never fall into the tired horror cliches.  Psycho has few scenes of actual violence, but instead presents its scares through dialogue and its representation of madness, which is scary because it’s not far from reality.

In conclusion, Psycho is a movie that demands to be thought over after its powerful conclusion and leaves a lasting impression.  You won’t easily shake off the terror of the story…especially when you’re in the shower.

– Julia