Development of Suspense by Hitchcock in Psycho Essay

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Development of Suspense by Hitchcock in Psycho

'Psycho,' the somewhat infamous film by Alfred Hitchcock was produced in 1961, a time when the American censors, The Hays Office, still dominated the film industry with their strict rules and principles. It earned its notoriety by defying the traditional cinematic convections of that time and pushing the boundaries of what could be shown in mainstream cinema. The rules implemented by The Hays Office were far stricter than they are today, and Hitchcock uses all available means to reach and go slightly beyond the set limit. Using clever and different camera angles, he implies things that are not shown. He proves that innuendoes can portray the
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In fact, a lot of horror films today still leave their leading ladies intact by the end of the film, e.g. "Scream." Whether it is actually Marion or her sister, who is the heroine, can then be debatable.

Abogast, the private detective who is hired to find Marion, but more importantly, find the stolen $40,000, is also killed very soon after Marion. Once again, the audience gets surprised as it is usually the detective who solves the mystery and presents it to the audience at the end of the film. In this case however, Abogast is merely a stepping stone for Sam, Marion's boyfriend and Lila, Marion's sister. He does the majority of the work and leaves enough clues for Lila and Sam to continue his job.

The early deaths of the 'main characters' shocked the audience enough to leave them mystified and at the edge of their seats for the remainder of the film. Hitchcock had succeeded in creating suspense in his film using a new and different convention that had never been tried before.

The 'early deaths' concept wasn't the only technique Hitchcock used to develop the suspense in 'Psycho'. A more common but effective technique is also used; music. Not just any music either, but relevant music. It is general knowledge that music can psychologically influence people's thoughts and emotions.
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