A nice little review of Psycho from a promising new blog I have found.
Day 1: Psycho (1960)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Martin Balsam, John Gavin, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, Anthony Perkins
Runtime: 109 minutes
Up until 1960, horror films had not been too diverse or subtle; and after the initial explosion in the 30s, the genre largely stagnated. In the 50s, a revival started, but it was mostly infected by science fiction elements, and one-dimensional, unsympathetic antagonists (aliens, irradiated insects, etc). The threat was almost always of an external type, a clear outsider to “normal society.” Psycho brought horror to the apparent insider—and located its source in one of America’s most sacred institutions: family.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW
Much of the film’s unnerving power is due to Hitchcock’s manipulation of the viewer through suspense, Bernard Hermann’s superb music, but most of all, I believe, to Anthony Perkins’ nuanced and creepy portrayal of Norman Bates.
Bates is one of the most intriguing villains in horror…
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