Monday, May 15, 2023

Six Decades On: Why We're Still Psycho for Psycho

Sixty years on and we're still as obsessed as a boy with his mother – and by 'boy', I mean Norman Bates, and by 'mother', well... let's not spoil the fun for the uninitiated. 'Psycho', the crown jewel in Alfred Hitchcock's suspense-laden tiara, refuses to gather dust in the annals of film history. Instead, it's out there on 'best movies of all time' lists, flaunting its black-and-white charm like a peacock in a hen house. But why is this relic of cinema's yesteryears still topping charts and chilling spines? Let's try to unravel this mystery without developing a split personality disorder.

The film that rocked the nation more than Elvis's hips didn't just break the mold – it shattered it, swept it up, and dumped it in the swamp out back. Who else but Hitchcock would have the audacity to send his leading lady to the great shower stall in the sky halfway through the film? It's like the Beatles deciding, 'Hey, let's just do the rest of the concert without Paul.' It was audacious, it was shocking, and it made us realize that no one in a Hitchcock film was safe – not even the star billing.

But 'Psycho' isn't just about its unprecedented narrative structure or its infamous shower scene – it's also about a boy and his mother. Or rather, a boy who loves his mother so much he... well, again, no spoilers here.

Anthony Perkins delivers a performance that's as chilling as a Polar Bear's toenails. As the ostensibly mild-mannered Norman Bates, he gives us a masterclass in the 'aw-shucks-I'm-just-a-regular-guy-oh-wait-no-I'm-not' school of acting. Norman is as endearing as he is unsettling – a bit like your weird cousin who collects antique dental equipment.

So why does 'Psycho' still hold our collective cultural imagination in a vice-like grip, refusing to let go? Perhaps it's the way it rewrote the rulebook on suspense, or the way it proved that horror could be psychological, not just blood and guts. Or maybe it's just that we can't resist a good old-fashioned tale of a boy and his mother.

Whatever it is, it's clear that 'Psycho' isn't going anywhere. It's as etched into our cinematic consciousness as that screeching violin score is etched into our nightmares. And as long as there are showers, taxidermy birds, and eerily vacant motels, we'll keep coming back to Bates Motel. After all, as Norman himself says, 'We all go a little mad sometimes.' Just hopefully not while we're in the shower.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No One Will Save You

No One Will Save You , is a meatball. While the movie has a top notch performance by Kaitlyn Dever, impeccable aesthetics, and stunning set ...