Film and Literature
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has been ranked as one of the top 10 best horror/suspense films of all time because of his unique way of filmmaking. Some of the many significant cinematic elements uses include internal diegetic sound, and dissolving.
Internal diegetic sound was used throughout Hitchcock’s Psycho to create the illusion that Norman Bate’s mother was still alive. Only at the very end of the film do you find out what really happened to Norman’s mother, and throughout the film the audience is wondering when they will get to match the voice with her face. The internal diegetic sound appears to be Norman’s mother talking to him, when really it’s just him talking to himself. This effect leads the viewer to think that Norman’s mother is this unstable, controlling, psycho murderer when really it’s Norman all along and he just can’t accept the fact that she’s really gone. In the last scene Norman is asked a question in his prison cell and the voice of his mother replies, indicating that the mother part of him has consumed his personality.
Another important cinematic element used in Psycho is the dissolve editing technique. At the very end of the film when Norman Bates is sitting in his prison cell, he slowing lifts up his head and grins, then it slowly dissolves into the face of his dead mother’s corpse, showing the viewers that they are now one. The question you find yourself asking throughout the film is, “Who is the murderer?” That question is answered at the very end when Norman and his mother dissolve into one face, proving that Norman was the crazy one all along.