Every week, one of the Filmoria team will be pulling a skeleton from their closet in the form of a classic film that they’ve never seen. It could be a film from decades ago or one that has recently been heralded as ‘one of the best’ in recent times, but either way there’ll be one less film on their list of shame. This week, Kevin Perreau discovers what the fuss about the shower scene in Psycho is all about…
Whenever I tell people I like to watch a lot of movies, the question that usually follows is ‘Have you seen Hitchcock films?’ And to their dismay, that answer was no, until very recently. When people talk film, it somehow always has to lead to talking about Hitchcock, for his revolutionary film techniques, or the masterfully created plots. I finally set myself straight and decided to watch one of his most influential films in history, Psycho (1960).
Having not grown up with a lot of love or admiration for film, it was only in recent years in university that my quest began. I had a lot of ground to cover, and I can finally now tell people I have seen a Hitchcock film. I finally understand, from the camera techniques, use of lighting, the simple yet complex story, its almost as if cinema hadn’t progressed much further, and its been almost 60 years since this film. It was clearly evident from the cinematic frames in the black and white film, that there was a clear genius in the cinematic world and why he was such an influential director.
Hitchcock was known for his daring stories with twists and revelations, and whilst the shower scene has a lot of prominence in pop culture, I think there is a lot more to say about the revelation. Whilst not exactly surprising, and without spoiling the film, the reveal stuck with me so much that I had to replay the scene multiple times after. He was always known for his suspense, combining an eerie soundtrack with phenomenal film making techniques, I was shocked beyond belief, even though I somewhat predicted what was going to happen. The creepiness and the setting that Hitchcock so flawlessly delivers throughout the film is stunning and spectacular. As a fan of everything but horror, I simply love and adore the suspense and thrill of this film.
It also has to be said that the entire film revolves around Anthony Perkins’ performance as Norman Bates. From the first scene he was introduced, from the introduction to the monologue, that tall and childish demeanor was phenomenal. There wasn’t a single flaw in his acting that I could see. Perhaps it was Hitchcock’s magnificence that created the persona, or the casting director was on top of their game, the combination of the two was mesmerizing beyond belief. There wasn’t a single scene in which he was in that I could not take my eyes off. All I wanted do was follow his character, find out who he was, what was he doing, what more is there to come. The subtle smile, the beady eyes, the small hops, there was so much intricate details that felt so smooth, it was as if the stars aligned and brought two magical beings together.
It is easy to dismiss old black & white movies, and for a very long time I did just that. Whilst Psycho probably was a somewhat different experience for those in 1960, it is still easy to understand why its often regarded as horror classic. The deliberately paced film felt slow at times, and horror in 1960 has a whole different meaning in 2017, but after watching Psycho, I have been converted and now wish to watch all of Hitchcock’s filmography.
Keep locked to Filmoria every week as each member of the team will be visiting a movie classic that they’ve never seen and give their thoughts.