The original 1960’s release because that shot-for-shot remake is for losers *hair flip* Is that still an insult, loser? I mean, clearly it’s insulting but that was the go-to in the 90’s. This Hitchcock classic taught me two things; don’t steal money from your employer and serial killers can be cute, charismatic, well-dressed gentlemen and most probably are, in fact. I feel that this is one of the first slasher flicks and the shower scene still keeps me from showering when I am home alone (no lie). Secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is charged with depositing $40,000 in cash but she decides to steal the funds instead so that she can marry her boyfriend. Marion’s boss actually sees her when she is in the midst of making a run for it and we assume that the ruse is up but if only that were the case for Marion. She gets caught in a torrential downpour and decides to stop for the night at Bates Motel where she meets the dashing Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who is the proprietor of said motel. He invites Marion to dine with him, the movie is in black and white but I always imagined that they were eating meat paste sandwiches – this added something for me, I don’t know what. Also, I would have tapped out at this point, what was with all the taxidermy?! Norman tells Marion about his mentally ill mother who controls his life and Marion, struck with guilt, decides to return the money to her boss. Plot twist, she gets slashed to death while taking a shower by who we assume is Norman’s crazy mother. Norman then does what any (psychotic) loyal son would do, cleans up the mess and disposes of the body. A private detective, Milton Arbogast who is investigating Marion on behalf of her boss and Marion’s sister (Lila) turn up at Bates Motel looking for Marion but for different reasons. Norman denies that Marion was there at first but then changes his story and claims that Marion left in good health after her stay. Arbogast isn’t buying it and decides to come back on his own to meet Norman’s mother who Norman claimed had met Marion and can attest for her well-being. He is also slashed by Norman’s mother. Lila and Sam then decide to go to the sheriff who tells them that Mrs. Bates killed herself some time ago. Lila and Sam go to the house, what they discover is the corpse of Mrs. Bates and Norman in his mother’s clothing – it takes a minute to get there but that reveal is absolutely shocking. It gets better (or worse), Norman actually killed his mother and her lover then dug up her body and took care of her out of guilt. Cut to Norman in a mental hospital in the midst of a battle between his split personalities. All the creeps.
We see the themes of sex being bad and getting you killed as well as the infatuation with one’s mother fostering murderous jealousy emerge in many horror flicks. Psycho is brilliantly crafted and never feels dated, it holds its own as the first slasher! Although it may seem tame in comparison to some modern day horror movies, I still think it is good and creepy and set the bar pretty high for subsequent films in this genre. Definitely check it out and happy showering 😀
Thanks for stopping by <3