Tension in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho Essay

1829 Words8 Pages
Tension in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

When Psycho was first released in cinemas in 1960, audiences all over the world were shocked. They were shocked that something as sexually explicit, for that era, was being screened in hundreds of cinemas. Although audiences of the modern day are used to violence and sex scenes, the audiences of the 60's reacted in different ways. Some people viewed Psycho as a cinematic brilliance but other critics gave the film many bad initial reviews. This is because Hitchcock was extremely secretive in the making and publicity. He did not allow critics' to see the film at special screenings. Instead they had to see the film with the ordinary filmgoers after the release.
…show more content…
This boldly suggests that she has turned the corner from being a good girl to a bad girl.

The use of mirrors signifies the chaos/evil theme, which Hitchcock favors. The scene where Marian holds up the money beside the mirror in the Bates motel's toilets, shows Hitchcock's idea of the innerself and private self being shown in the reflection of the mirror. We are shown that Marian is uncertain of the situation. However when we see a reflection of Norman Bates in a window, it implies that although he has a nice outer persona, he must have a darker innerself.

Hitchcock uses weather to a great advantage. It is a great atmosphere-maker as whenever we see the Bates House, it is always in shadow, whether it's raining or sunny. The weather makes it gloomy and sinister. At Marian's arrival at the motel, the rain blinds her way so she has no choice but to stop at that particular motel. Perhaps if it hadn't been raining she wouldn't have stopped and thus not met her dreadful demise.

The house is always shot in cloud or gloom like a haunted house. The use of lights in the house adds atmosphere because from the outside it gives the impression of waiting and watchful eyes. Bates house is always shot from a low angle, this makes the steps up to the house seem never-ending. This maintains tension as we don't know when
Get Access