Days of Terror: “Psycho”


“Psycho” is a movie that I’ve always been mad at myself for not seeing, so maybe this horror challenge will be good for something, rather than just scaring me. The film was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, who for good reason was nicknamed “The Master of Suspense.”

Where I watched: DVD

Length: 109 minutes

Prior knowledge of the film: It’s hard in 2015 not to know the premise of “Psycho.” While I’ve never seen the film or any of its sequels, I have seen almost two full episodes of the recent prequel, “Bates Motel.” The show wasn’t that interesting, but now that I’ve FINALLY seen “Psycho,” I can gave it another chance.

I love my mom

The scariest part of this film was watching it with my mom and have her get emotional thinking of my brother when Norman Bates said “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Don’t get me wrong, my mom is my best friend, but this film made me think about how weird men are about their moms, and how my lame homemade mother’s day cards are nothing compared to digging up my mom’s dead body and killing anyone who I think would make her jealous. Norman goes to crazy extents to protect his mom? Be his mom? Put the blame on his mom? Who knows (only the annoying psychologist at the end of the film).

Was it actually scary?

I never felt myself actually being scared during the film. This could be due to the fact that I’m watching it 55 years after it came out, and have known what happens in the film for a long time (the shower scene is one of the most iconic film scenes ever). Overall, the parts that were supposed to be scary were more humorous. Watching Aborgast get stabbed in the middle of the head, and then ridiculously fall down a flight of stairs was more funny to me than scary — does this make me a crazy person like Norman? Maybe if I had seen this in 1960 it would have been more scary, but the fact that I wasn’t scared by it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s an incredible film.

Overall consensus

I know I’m only three days in, but I think I have a new favorite horror movie. Everything about it was brilliant — the acting, the cinematography and most importantly the twist. I still can’t get over the twist even though I’ve known what happens in the film for years.

I’ve always had a weird obsession with the “bad guys” in horror movies. I love Hannibal Lecter, I was Freddy Krueger for Halloween when I was 10, but Norman Bates may have taken the top spot for me at this point. Anthony Perkins was so perfectly able to capture the complete normalcy of Norman Bates, and the jealous, maniacal rage of Mrs. Bates, and it made watching the reveal all the more exciting. Perkins takes the brilliantly written role beyond evil killer, into a genuine psychopath (hmm, wonder where they got the film name from). Altogether, “Psycho” was great and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to watch it.

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