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6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Alfred Hitchcock

Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam

Buy on DVD
Psycho (1960)
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Movie Review by Zoltan
November 21st, 2010

Hitchcock's Classic Horror Film Lives On

Amidst all of the mounting terror and murder that takes place in Psycho's story there's one brief, but very powerful scene that occurs within this classic tale of real-life horror which I think stands on its very own.

This scene takes place shortly after Marion's sister, Lyla, and Sam return to the Bates Motel, posing as a married couple, with the sole purpose of looking into the disappearance of Lyla's sister and questioning Norman's mother.

While Sam detains Norman in the motel's office, Lyla slips away and heads up to the house on the hill in hopes of finding Mrs. Bates there to have a chat.

It isn't the scene when Lyla investigates things inside Norman's mother's room that made my hair stand on end. Her investigation there was what I might have expected. It was the scene when Lyla ventured up those few, little stairs at the back of the house and stepped straight into Norman's bedroom. This was the moment, inside of this room, that sent genuine chills running up and down my spine.

This scene was amazing. It was like stepping into whole other world. This cramped little room, with its mussed up bed, its teddy bear and other toys, and the child's phonograph record on the turntable, wasn't the room of a psycho killer at all. This was a bedroom of a little boy. It was Norman's room where he must've made his retreat when he wasn't being his mother. It's here that he must've mentally reverted all the way back to being a little boy.

I think that it was an absolutely brilliant stroke of genius for Alfred Hitchcock to give the audience a glimpse of this other side of Norman. I wonder if it was meant to be a way of gaining some sympathy for Norman.This scene, as brief as it was, gave me both goose-pimples and, at the same time, actually touched my heart. It was an emotionally-charged moment, being touching and pathetic, both at the same time.

Poor, permanently messed-up Norman.... A momma's boy, a spineless shell-of-a-man, an overbearing mother, and a frenzied killer all rolled up into one. I guess, in some ways, it's no wonder that Norman ended up venting his insanity by committing brutal acts of murder.

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