Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a thriller that illustrates the story of Norman Bates. As a young woman, Marion, goes missing at his motel, there is a search for her to determine where she went or what happened to her. As the movie goes on, we unwrap who Norman Bates is and the truth about him and Marion. An element that adds to the movie is sound and music. The element of music adds suspense and allows the audience to feel certain emotions that they otherwise wouldn’t if sound was not a main factor throughout the movie. In minute 26-26:30, when Marion is driving her car in the pouring rain, the music begins to play in a fast paced tone. This creates suspense to the scene and it keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. It makes one believe that with this music something bad is going to happen, like Marion is going to crash her car or run something over. The music makes this scene more exciting than it really is. Furthermore, the lack of sound and music in other scenes, also, creates the same tension and suspense. From minute 48:34-49:45, right after the “shower scene,” the audience only hears the shower running, while the camera zooms out of Marion’s face. The lack of music and sound creates a stillness in the scene that leaves the audience confused and with so many questions. The sound of the shower depicts that Marion is dead and it makes the people watching at home feel powerless. This creates the illusion that the audience is with Marion in this scene and the only sound within this world is the shower running. It gives this already suspenseful scene some edge and sharpness that pulls everything together. Comparing Psycho to Rear Window, I find that Psychois more suspenseful. I think that along with the score, the decision to make this film in black and white adds more character and mystery to the plot. The lack of colors gives off a dark and ominous tone to the movie that Rear Window didn’t really have. 


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