Psycho (1960)

Psycho is simply one of the best psychological horror films ever made. Released in 1960 and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this film is an incredible suspense experience that will keep you on your toes. 

The plot centers around Marion Crane, a secretary who finds herself in a motel after stealing money from her boss. The manager-owner of the motel is Norman Bates and he seems like a regular, nice guy. We even feel badly for him at times because of the way his mother treats him.

After thinking things through, Marion decides to return the stolen money in the morning and do the right thing. However, she doesn’t get a chance to do that, because she’s viciously stabbed while taking a shower by someone we can’t see. Up until this point in the film, the suspense builds up beautifully, and the shower scene is a haunting one. 

When Norman discovers the body, he reveals that the killer was his mother as he laments about what she’s done. As a good son, he cleans up the crime scene and he puts Marion’s corpse and all her things into the trunk of her car to sink it in a swamp nearby. 

It’s shocking to see Norman respond to such a vicious crime the way he does. It feels like this is not the first time Mother has killed someone, and he’s used to cleaning up after her. Yes, he panics, but he goes through the clean up with ease and he doesn’t even confront Mother at all. 

A week later, Marion’s sister is looking for her and she finds that she’s wanted for the stolen money. Private investigator Milton Arbogast is on the case and he soon discovers Marion spent a night at Bates Motel. He questions Norman and his nervous attitude arouses Arbogast’s suspicion. After informing Marion’s sister, Lila, about this new clue, Arbogast goes to the Bates’ home looking for Mother, only to be stabbed by a mysterious figure at the stop of the stairs. 

Because Lila doesn’t hear from the PI, she decides to visit the Bates Motel with Sam, Marion’s boyfriend. They arrive to the Bates’ house, but no one answers, so they decide to go to the sheriff. However, he’s convinced the PI simply lied and disappeared with their money.

Not satisfied, they go back to the motel. Sam distracts Norman and Lila sneaks into the house. Sam’s grilling causes Norman to snap and knock him out. When he rushes into the house, Lila decides to hide in the fruit cellar, where she finds Mother’s mummified corpse. 

She screams and Norman runs into the cellar dressed like his mother and wearing a wig, making him the real killer. He attacks Lila, but Sam stops him. It turns out that Norman actually killed his mother and her lover ten years back out of jealousy for their relationship. He felt so guilty about it that he stole her corpse and started treating it as if she were still alive. He recreated his mother in his mind so strongly that an alternate personality came to life in his mind. 

The pace of the film is incredibly effective, the story is compelling, and the actors do an amazing job. Not to mention it has one of the most iconic endings in film history! If you’re a collector, here’s a 2-Movie Collection of both The Birds, Psycho.

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