Essay on Film Analysis: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

906 Words 4 Pages
Running water, a high-pitched scream, shrill violins, pierced flesh, a torn curtain, gurgling water: these were the sounds that gave a whole new meaning to the word "horror" in the year 1960. With enough close-ups and cuts to simulate the feeling of a heart attack, the notorious shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho serves as the ultimate murder sequence in cinematic history. What makes the scene so frightening isn't so much the blood or the screams or the cross-dressing murderer: the true horror lies Hitchcock's use the camera. It enables us to enter the mind of the killer and literally "cuts" up our protagonist. Through the use of carefully crafted sounds, lighting, camera angles and cuts, Hitchcock creates a visually striking and …show more content…
The clinking sound of the curtain being torn from the hinges deny Marion her chance stay alive. We are left a gurgling drain, endless running water, and a dead protagonist. Throughout the scene, Hitchcock engages the audience by enabling us to act as voyeurs. In her most vulnerable moment Marion undresses for the shower. While Hitchcock do go about the scene "tastefully" and choses not to expose her breasts, the frequent and camera cuts force us to focus our attention on different aspects of Marion's body. We are no longer viewing a monotonous, every-day activity, but a private moment. Although the killer is not yet present we do get a glimpse of Marion from outside the curtain. Somehow, this is a more invasive view than before. The sheer fabric can't even keep us out. With the view from the inside the camera literally cuts off Marion's breasts. We becomes instant peeping Toms, essentially no better than Norman Bates himself. Unsettling the viewer, Hitchcock cuts to a shot of the shower head spewing water onto the camera. This tiny glimpse into Marion's point of view allows us to fully comprehend her vulnerability. But when the camera cuts back to show her euphoric expression under the running water, something has changed. The camera now creeps closer and rises with each subsequent shot until captures Marion in her

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