Essay Filmmaker's Use of Shock in Psycho and Jaws

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Shock is a feeling of fascination and excitement mixed with anxiety, tension, suspense and surprise developed from an unpredictable, mysterious, and engaging source of entertainment (Merriam-Webster). Shock can occur whenever there is a perceived suspended drama, with tension, suspense or surprise being the primary emotions felt by the audience as part of the situation (Dirks). However, the term is most often used in regards to an audience’s perception in dramatic works such as film. One often experiences a sense of shock in film due to the filmmaker’s ability to manipulate technical elements such as sound and camera angles in order to elicit feelings of suspense and tension from the audience. More specifically, the definition of suspense…show more content…
Hitchcock’s notable 1960’s thriller, Psycho, is a clever blend of artistic and Hollywood elements. Given the blended composition of this voyeuristic film, one does not have to be aware of the subtle Hitchcockian touches that make Psycho an artistic treasure among many New Wave critics. The terrifying simplicity of the story and compelling visuals create a jolting effect for any viewer unaware of the sinister goings on beyond the surface of the story. Throughout this film, Hitchcock uses suspense and tension to shock his audience by using various film techniques such as camera position, angles and movement. Hitchcock's camera positioning places the viewer at end of the action from the first shot which features a couples rendezvous in a hotel room through an open window. The camera later allows audiences to witnesses Marion undressing through a peephole as well as the violent shower scene, which compels viewers to intently watch for any glimpse of nudity that the quick editing might provide. This infamous shower scene engrosses the viewer with guilty glimpses that reveal nothing inappropriate yet continue to entice audiences to watch. Furthermore, this scene horrifies audiences with its brutal stabbing, which is seemingly viewed from the killer's point-of-view. The vulnerability and nakedness of a common shower as a

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