I think everyone has seen the infamous shower scene of Psycho, even if they’ve never seen the film. Ever since seeing that scene I’ve always made sure to lock the bathroom door, but only when I take a shower. It stays open otherwise. No killer ruins a toilet break.
Knowing one scene doesn’t break a film when viewing it after, and apart from the showering incident I knew nothing else about Psycho. That the girl Marion (Janet Leigh) who ends up sliced to ribbons was actually on the run with $40,000 robbed from work to start a new life with her hunky bed friend Sam (Anthony Perkins) and that infamous murder takes place about midway in. It’s a gripping thriller which chokes you with its intensity and always present dread.
As it slowly builds up there is no time to relax. Each character on Marion’s journey always come across as untrustworthy, feeding on Marion’s anxiety and doubts, and each location contains a foreboding atmosphere, be it in the lighting or the interior decorating. The shock scenes ingrained in the mind still manage to create a jolt in the system too, thanks to the terrifying music which peaks at just the right moment. It’s a shame most thriller/horrors don’t have quite the expertise in timing and tension building that Psycho has.
But what I feel makes Psycho a classic is how intelligent the whole piece is. The murderers mind is fascinating, and each of his conversations always strikes the heart of the viewer as he pulls apart common thoughts and doubts that lurk in our minds. It feels so logical, despite the guy being so mad. When a mad man makes so much sense maybe I need to start worrying over my own little head. I wouldn’t hurt a fly, it’s alright.