Alfred Hitchcock's Film Psycho

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The Alfred Hitchcock film ‘Psycho’ is undoubtedly one of the most significant, ground breaking films of all time. It is now considered the ‘mother of all modern horror films’, and sets the base to many horror films and themes made after its release in 1960. To create such an influential movie Hitchcock used many techniques such as code and conventions, symbolism, themes, and film noir.

Code and conventions are used in ways that greatly increase the effectiveness of the overall film. Close-up camera angles are used to show the actors emotions to a greater extent. An example of this is in the scene before Marion pulling into the Bates Motel. Hitchcock creates close-ups of her faces, which show worry and anxiety, and uses over the shoulder
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The evidence for this is the black and white colouring, the ‘murder drama’ theme, and style. The black and white colouring makes the shadows seem denser, and creates a shady atmosphere. The tension is increased by the decreased light, as there is more opportunity for something evil to be hiding in the shadows. A murder drama type movie is usually where people are killed by people they are close to, or have put their trust into. This can be seen in where Marion trusts Norman, and yet gets murdered dramatically by him. Psycho’s style is typical of a film noir type movie. This can be seen by: the slanted camera angles and subjective shots, the dense shadows created by the black and white colouring, the depressing doom laden atmosphere, the shady lighting and desperate people doing anything to make their dreams come true. The shady lighting created by the black and white colouring increases the ‘spookiness’ of the atmosphere by allowing the audiences imaginations to run wild. The audiences’ own minds create the feeling that there are evil things lurking in the corners or the darkest parts of the shadows. The feeling of bad things prowling around just out of sight evokes feelings similar to the childhood paranoia of a monster living under the bed.

Symbolism is shown in this film through the colour changes in Marion undergarments. During the beginning of the film, before Marion stole the money, her underwear was white, symbolising

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