Comparison of Psycho and Vertigo

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The Clash of the Titans: Comparing Vertigo & Psycho

Like most other directors Alfred Hitchcock had a certain stylistic feel to his movies. He was arguably one of the greatest directors and most definitely the king of suspense. Whether you enjoyed his movies or not they were still intriguing pieces of art that at the time left audiences walking out of the theatre in a sense of hysteria. His films have rained terror on his audiences for decades and two in particular have especially caused a level of frenzy, Psycho and Vertigo. While being two completely different pictures they both strongly follow the famous “Hitchcockian” approach creating nail biting suspense sequences as well as shocking horror sequence. Hitchcock was an idol for many film makers and what made him such a successful artist re-occurs in many of his movies.

Alfred Hitchcock was revolutionary known for introducing a number of different techniques to film making, one of them being the use of camera. He used the camera more as a set of his own eyes rather than a simple tool. He didn’t let audiences view his movies; he made audiences participate in them. By using the collective unconscious he would force his audience into viewing his films with in a selective light. The secret to Alfred Hitchcock’s success was his subtly. In today’s current horror and thriller films, the directing is very visual. If a subject is to get stabbed we will see the blade penetrating the victem's skin as they expel a shrill scream. In Hitchcock movies he left the most gruesome and horrific part to the imagination of the viewer. We don’t see the blade hitting its victim in the famous shower scene in Psycho but we are quite aware she is being massacred. In Vertigo we do not see Kim Novak’s character getting physically pushed or hitting the ground yet we still close our eyes and look away expecting an image of flesh hitting concrete. Yes these techniques and scenes look very dulled down in today’s horror genre but...
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