Film a hotel with her boyfriend, Sam

Film critique, whether essays written for journals, books,
or class assignments, attempts to dissect films, rather than only review them
or provide shallow descriptions of what occurs. An analysis requires some
reflection on the film, and is usually utilized more effectively after multiple
viewings and external exploration. Alfred Hitchcock’s intense, complex
psychological thriller, Psycho, is
considered the original and best of all modern horror suspense films. The
bloodcurdling, disturbing film’s themes of corruptibility, disjointed
identities, voyeurism, human vulnerabilities and victimization, and the fatal
consequences of money are realistically uncovered. Its themes were revealed
through repeated uses of motifs, such as hands, eyes, mirrors and birds. If we
resent being disturbed and arouse, we aim to dismiss a product as deceptive and
sensationalist. The greatest art perplexes, excites, questions and perhaps even
changes us.

 

Marion Crane is a real
estate agent from Phoenix, but as the film opens up, she is in a hotel with her
boyfriend, Sam Loomis. They love each other, but they can’t marry since Sam has
many debts, including alimony to his ex-wife. Marion goes back to the firm,
where her manager comes in with a customer. The boss instructs Marion to store
the cash in the bank, but instead Marion takes the money and runs to Fairvale,
California to give it to Sam. Marion drives on and then a rainstorm forces her
off the road to an off road motel. Norman is friendly and seems attracted to Marion,
but his mother is jealous and mean. They have dinner together in his office,
and Norman reveals that his mother, Norma, is mentally ill. After talking to
him, Marion realizes she can’t go on being a criminal, so she decides to drive
back to Phoenix and return the money. Norman watches her shower from a peephole
in the office, and as Marion gets in the shower, a woman with a butcher knife
suddenly appears and stabs her to death. Norman runs to the cabin, cleans
everything up including Marion’s body and all her things, puts it in her car,
and sinks all of it in the swamp near the lodge. Abrogast tracks Marion to the
Bates motel. He interrogates Norman, and wants to talk to Norman’s mother, but
Norman won’t let him. Abrogast calls Lila and Sam and tells them of his
progress, and says he’s going to go back to the Motel to try to interview
Norman. So back he goes, into the house, up the stairs when that same woman
with the knife appears and stabs him to death. They go to the Sheriff, who
talks to Norman on the phone, but doesn’t think anything is wrong. Lila and Sam
go out to the Bates Motel themselves, posing as a couple. She screams and the
woman with the knife rushes in. Before she can kill Lila, Sam appears and grabs
the mysterious woman, only to reveal it was Norman, dressed up as his mother. A
prison psychiatrist reveals he had killed and exhumed his mother’s corpse and
kept it in his home, because he got jealous of her new boyfriend. The film
concludes with Norman sitting in the police station with his mother’s voice
inside his head, insisting that it was Norman and not her who committed the
murders.

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Alfred Hitchcock
presents the visual theme of voyeurism from the beginning scene in Psycho. The viewers watch the opening
shot behind the drawn blinds and through the window of Sam and Marion’s motel room,
where they were half naked. In a later scene when Norman is watching Marion take
her clothes off in her room at the Bates Motel, Hitchcock utilizes perspective
shots to let the audience realize Norman’s creepy spying. Narratively, the
topic of voyeurism in the film demonstrates that human sexual inclinations can turn
dark when stifled for too long. Marion’s willing to stop concealing her actual
relationship with Sam drives her to steal money. Norman’s sexual desire for
Marion drives his “mother” to end up murdering her. By putting the audience
in the shoes of the character, Hitchcock warns the watchers about the consequences
of our own real desires.

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