Monday, September 24, 2012

Psycho (1960)

Poor Marion (Janet Leigh)! Her boyfriend is too poor to get a divorce, so she makes a rash decision. She grabs forty grand from her employer and makes a mad dash for California. Along the way she takes shelter at the Bates motel. Young Norman (Anthony Perkins) is quite fond of the Milfish Marion, but Mother disapproves. So after a brief rendezvous in the shower, Norman is left to clean things up.

Soon Marion's boy toy and her cuter sister Lila (Vera Miles) are on the hunt for the naughty girl. Also in hot pursuit is a detective looking for the cash.

In the past I've summed up the kind of horror movies I like as being "Pre-Psycho". It seemed to me that horror made a dramatic shift, one towards a more psychological form. I still believe this, but this boys film education has me to reconsidering my appreciation. What Psycho did was progress styles and themes already in existence, case in point Diabolique. The signature Hitchcock style makes every tense scene seem so much more so, almost unbearably so. He just drags the emotion out of you. Here it worked.

Perkins' acting is worth a second look. Creepy, frightened, timid, and sexually repressed, his nuanced performance was out of this world. He deserved a nomination. Leigh got one her shower scene, which is nice. It was one hell of a scene. I remember seeing it on television back in the day. I don't remember being scared, but I do remember seeing something a young boy seldom saw back then. Leigh's out of focus breasts. I didn't see it this time. Can't explain it. Also in the scene was another American film first: a toilet. John Waters thanks you, Mister Hitchcock.

Now, this is Hitchcock, so there's a twist, and it's a twist just about all of the pulse wearing public is aware of. But I say no more of the plot. Respect. AMRU 4.
"A boy's best friend is his mother."

No comments:

Post a Comment