Film Analysis of Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ was first released in 1960. The film
starred two key characters, who were; Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane. The film is set in Phoenix, Arizona,
but it mainly set in a small motel called the Bates Motel. The genre
of the film Psycho is a horror/thriller. This type of film added to
the success of it, as it won a few Oscars, including Best Actor. There
was also a sequel made in 1999. However, the sequel proved to be less
profitable than the original.
The film begins with Marion Crane having an affair with a man called
Sam Loomis. It seems as ...view middle of the document...
Marion’s sister, Lila Crane
goes in search of Marion at the Bates Motel to find out what happened
to her sister while she was there. It is Lila who discovers what
happened to the Marion and Inspector Arbogast, as the film reaches its
Hitchcock uses dramatic music throughout the film. The main features
of the music in Psycho are the shrilling string instruments, which are
clashing to create the tension and suspense within the film. The music
also helps to keep the suspense of the story line.
Also, the use of mis-en-scene is used, which is a French term that
means ‘putting on stage.’ This refers to everything that is arranged
in one frame.
In addition, there are different camera and lighting effects used by
Lighting is used in the film to create a sense of atmosphere.
Hitchcock uses black and white lighting to make the atmosphere and
mood to that of a mystifying effect. However, this could not have been
accomplished, if it were to be produced in colour.
The black and white feel gives the film a more sinister look, whereas
there is more shadows being created. An example of this is shown in
the shower scene do the film.
On the other hand, the lighting, black and white effect and the music
all portray the tension within the characters.
The effects of lighting and camera also play a big part in the shower
scene. This is where Marion is taking a shower and she is then
suddenly murdered. We cannot see the murderer’s face, as the backlight
was used to hide their face and make the scene more horrifying and
sinister. We see an outline shape of a woman on the murderer, so it
informs us to believe that the murderer is a woman.
The shower scene itself, took seven days to shoot and over seventy
cameras were set up for the shooting. The effect of the cameras shows
how there were quick shots being taken in a short space of
approximately two minutes. When the production of the film was
released, there were over 70 quick shots taken in the forty-five
The shots were made up of the climax to Marion’s murder and the murder
it self. But we never see the knife stabbing into Marion’s body. As an
alternative, we see shots of the knife and sound affects are added to
the appearance of the knife, which is attacking Marion. This then
gives the impression that Marion is actually being stabbed. Each shot
taken was edited for a montage effect, which is the process of
editing. Montage is the process of selecting; editing and piecing
together separate sections of cinema film to form a continuous piece.
The sound affects and the shrilling music combine to add more
suspense, but all sounds stop for a silence when Marion is helpless
and pulls onto the curtain railing and falls onto the floor.
Additionally, The shower scene also contains many...