Why Psycho is still the ultimate shocker

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock unleashed Psycho upon our cinema screens in 1960s it’s exposed numerous generations of cinema-goers to a brutally punishing horror spectacle.

And it’s a movie that continues to set a benchmark for all horror films with its simple themes perfectly executed in a way that’s helped create endless spin-offs from theme park attractions to inspired casino games.

Although Psycho is based upon a book that details the horrific activities of serial killer Ed Gein, it took genius director Alfred Hitchcock to make the terror all the more palpable.

Hitchcock had previously worked on impressive Hollywood thrillers like Vertigo and North by Northwest, and so it was a bit of a gamble for him to attempt the much-derided horror genre.


With John L. Russell’s beautifully chilling black and white cinematography, and Bernard Hermann’s iconic musical score, Psycho broke away from the hammy horror movies of the era to deliver something that was inescapably terrifying.

The basic concept of a young women being alone in a particularly creepy house is something that’s gained a huge amount of currency in movies ranging from John Carpenter’s Halloween to Wes Craven’s slasher hit Scream.

Even the gaming world has shown itself to be susceptible to many of the motifs of the movie with the sinister lodge in the PS4 title Until Dawn having its own Psycho character, and although you can claim a great bonus at the Haunted House slots game at the Coral gaming site, it shows that even casino games can have a spooky twist.

Whilst the movie has had some pretty oddball remakes including Gus Van Sant’s perplexing attempt to recreate Psycho scene for scene, it wasn’t until recently that modern horror fans got a good introduction to this horror classic.


2012 saw the Hitchcock biopic helping us gain a greater understanding of the story behind how the British film-maker made the daring attempt to bring horror to mainstream audiences. And recently the Bates Motel television series has done an admirable job of delivering a chilling prequel of the years prior to the events of the 1960s movie.

But although, the industry surrounding the growing Psycho franchise has seen everything from bonuses on horror slot games to tourists visiting the Psycho house in Los Angeles, the pure terror of the original Psycho movie can never be equalled.