31 Days Of Horror (Day 23) – Psycho (1960)

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Psycho is a 1960 film from one of the masters of suspense cinema Alfred Hitchcock. The film was, at the time, very shocking and somewhat ahead of its time. It put Hitchcock further into the minds of film viewers worldwide. The film is still to this day one of the most loved films in horror cinema. Being the first of the modern Slasher genre that would come to light further in the late 70’s after the release of the 1978 John Carpenter hit Halloween from 1978.

Janet Leigh portrays Marion, an office worker who is tired of her life and gets the opportunity to get away from it all when her boss trusts her to take 40,000 dollars worth of money to the bank. Instead, she takes this chance to run away and start afresh. However, her plan is delayed and she is forced to stay at a secluded motel ran by a young man Norma Bates (Anthony Perkins) who is constantly being controlled by his mother. His mother is someone who would make her son do anything, and would do anything to protect her son, Marion will find this out the hard way.

Being such a massive fan of this film I really could not miss this one out of the list. It is a true classic and world known. As I said it has been dubbed as the first modern slasher film although I personally would say its more of a stalker film than a traditional Friday The 13th style slasher.
The slasher genre has been one that has had it’s ups and downs and has its popular eras and not so popular eras. Although Psycho was deemed as the first of the genres kind, at least for the modern age fo cinema, a lot of people would possibly assumed, from pop culture that the slasher genre really didn’t re-immerge until the late 70’s early 80’s with the releases of Halloween (1978) and Friday The 13th (1980) even though throughout the 70’s there were, in fact, many slasher films. Like the 1974 chiller from Canada Black Christmas and of course the 1977 horror hit The Hills Have Eyes.

The genre has always been somewhat criticised by critics, yet Psycho remains as one of Hitchcock’s finest, this shows what you can do with a horror film and do it well.

The film is based on a book of the sam name. This book was taken off of the shelves by Hitchcock to allow for the massive twist o be kept secret. This is something that with the internet would be very hard to do these days. I find this fact really cool.

Sadly though there are some people that d not enjoy black and white films this is a statement that I also heard many times in my life when I’ve mentioned Psycho.

In my opinion, a good way to get yourself into black and white films is to start off with this Gem of a film, Psycho!

| Ross Wilcock

Thriller | UK, 1960 | Dir.Alfred Hitchcock | Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Frank Albertson

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