Every time Halloween rolls around, I make an attempt watch either John Carpenter’s Halloween or Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s about as much a cinematic holiday tradition for me as watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve. Yet it’s perfect for a viewing at any time. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it, but at a sheer estimate, I’d settle for five. Enjoy my review of Psycho…
Bottom Line: Over half a century since it was released, but still a masterfully thrilling work of art.
“Mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn’t quite herself today.” –Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Frank Albertson, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, John McIntire, Martin Balsam, Pat Hitchcock, Simon Oakland, Vaughn Taylor, Vera Miles
PSYCHO sets up with a woman who has stolen $40,000 in a hurry to visit her boyfriend in Fairvale, California, but is stopped by pouring rain and stays overnight at a motel with a strange owner. She is murdered by the owner’s “Mother”, and even though the crime is covered up, an unresolved private matter between the woman and her worried sister is a possible guarantee to find out what has happened and how it has so bizarrely happened. The less that is known about PSYCHO, the more suspenseful the experience viewing it is. The story, based on a pulp novel by Robert Bloch, is established in such a way that even the most minute details could lead to the discovery of the crime. The film requires the viewers’ undivided attention to follow the complexities of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins)–the motel manager–and his “Mother”, but it also guarantees to hold every bit of attention.