My Thoughts On… Psycho

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!


A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • When I was younger, I avoided Psycho because I assumed that it was really scary. As I got older, I realised that it wasn’t, but still didn’t feel too inclined to watch it. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to.
  • For such a famous film, I was surprised by how little I actually knew about the film. Even having seen Hitchcock earlier this year, I still really only knew that Marion Crane was stabbed in the shower by Norman Bates. I had no idea that Marion was at the motel because she was on the run having stolen money, and I didn’t realise that Norman turned out to be suffering from a split personality. It was nice to watch such a well known film without knowing most of the plot.
  • Janet Leigh is not an actress I am particularly familiar with; other than being in Psycho and being Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother, I don’t really know a lot about her. She is really good in this, even if she isn’t in it for long before she is killed off. She also has a pretty perfect face.
  • Something else I was surprised by: how good Anthony Perkins is as Norman Bates. He’s really very convincing as an innocent motel owner in the beginning of the film. I wonder if I would have known that he was the murderer if it wasn’t one of those famous film facts that everyone knows regardless of whether they’ve seen the film or not. I suspect the whole point is that you simply do not know, because Bates seems so normal. Hitchcock even had an actress stand in for Perkins during the shower scene to ensure that the audience wouldn’t guess who it was from the build of the actor.
  • It’s fun to watch a film that is so engrained in the public zeitgeist. The iconic shower scene, with the scream and the fabulous score, the famous quotes (“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”), and the scene with the mother’s body in the rocking chair are all so famous separately from the film itself, it was nice to watch them in context.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I loved Psycho, all the more for how much I didn’t think I was going to. There’s nothing I can think of that I didn’t like.

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