The general perception of horror movies is evil spirits and monsters. This thinking was correct till the movie Pyscho was released in 1960. The legendary Alfred Hitchcock turned the horror film genre on its head. While Pyscho is considered a horror movie by many, it redefined itself to create a new genre-Monster/Horror. In this sense, Pyscho managed to create a psychological thriller that was utterly alien to the audiences of the time.
The Pyscho instilled a new kind of fear in the minds of people. There were no ghosts or monsters in this movie. In fact, the fear was from anyone encountered on a day-to-day basis. It is a well-known fact that Hitchcock pushes the boundaries of the human mind through his movies. And nowhere is this point more evident than in this thrilling film. In Pyscho, the director uses the concept of voyeurism to create a new kind of fear in audiences. Norman Bates, the central character of the movie (played by Anthony Perkins), forces one to analyze whether he is mentally ill when he is shown looking through a peephole to see Marion undress. It makes one wonder why he is doing this unethical act.
In the movie, Norman’s character is lonely, and this is shown subtly through the depiction of fewer customers checking into his motel after the creation of a new freeway. Alfred’s portrayal of Norman’s character ensures that the audiences realize that he is, indeed, a psycho. The magnificence of the director is in the fact that viewers do not know what is coming next, and that instills a kind of primal fear in people.
The movie Pyscho has been a game-changer and entirely reconfigured the genre of horror movies. Before Pyscho, horror movies were centered on monsters and the paranormal. However, this film managed to revolutionize the horror movie genre by portraying a poor schmuck like Norman as a deranged killer. This movie has managed to withstand the test of time, and even today, it is one of the best horror/thriller movies ever made.
Psycho in recent years has also moved beyond the movie world capturing a lucrative merchandise market, in particular gaming. Psycho has been adapted for gaming consoles and most recently for fans of casinos and slot games the intense thriller has been turned into a scary spinning real video slot so fans of slots can now play slot games.
Unsurprisingly, the movie is not as controversial in today’s times as various films have been created on similar lines. The Pyscho was made by Hitchcock’s own money as no studio was prepared to fund this off-beat movie. Hitchcock’s gamble paid off, and the movie grossed many times what was spent in making it. However, the essence of the film remains in the director’s conviction and dedication to his craft. The fact that the movie was a mega-success was obviously welcome, but the significant aspect is that Hitchcock was willing to invest in an entirely unexplored genre without the need to create a mass-market film.
The Pyscho is undoubtedly a gem and groundbreaking film of its time. The movie has withstood the test of time. It is as fascinating to watch today as it was decades ago. The film features superb acting by Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and camerawork by John Russell. The movie is a masterpiece not only because it reconfigured horror movies but also because of Hitchcock’s dazzling direction style. Today, the Pyscho may not be as frightening as it was in the 1960s, but it still is a masterpiece. Hitchcock once famously said that he viewed the Pyscho as a kind of comedy. And with that thought, does it matter if it is not as scary now? It’s a great example of exemplary filmmaking, and that is what matters.