Review – Psycho (1960)

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psycho-53b9b84390080Welcome to Psycho Week: Day 1. I’m sitting here trying my hardest to figure out how on earth I’ve managed to review over 1,200 movies and skip out on Psycho. To make right on the fact that I haven’t…I’m reviewing them all! That’s right, four movies, four books, and a TV show. So tomorrow will cover the books and TV show, but the rest of the week will be the movies and how everything differs and how everything is ultimately similar. This should be an interesting week. Get ready folks, because this is where the psychosis started, with Hitchcock’s famous Psycho. 

Psycho tells the tale of a creepy motel that never gets visited due to the fact that a new freeway the preferred way of travel in those parts, and people simply don’t know it exists. Operated by Norman Bates, the Bates Motel gets a visitor late one evening. Norman gets infatuated with this young woman visitor, but his mother doesn’t approve of the girl, and consider’s his infatuation improper and her hostile temper overpowers his attempts to reason with her. That night, the girl is murdered, which starts an entire investigation into her whereabouts.

Whoo, I think I did an okay job talking about the plot without spoiling everything. Yes, the movie is nearly 60 years old and I am preserving its secrets. Because guess what? People are still being born. Isn’t that crazy? People can still be surprised, so as long as that’s the case, I’ll try my hardest to keep things that can be spoiled under lock and key.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually seen this movie. A lot, and it really never gets old, given how much of a master storyteller Hitchcock was. This is one of my, if not my favorite movie of his, but there are really too many movies to take into consideration at the same time, but this is without a doubt high on the list, but let’s try to break this thing down without giving anything away, shall we?

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PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

First off, we have the people score, which was nearly perfect. Nearly. It mainly had bland chemistry. So while it had some chemistry, it was mostly forgettable and certainly not an important quality for the film. Everything else was perfectly fine. The acting was not only good but also memorable. The characters are memorable to this day. Even though the casting doesn’t match the book’s description, this one was so much better, anyways. As for importance, every character has an important part with the plot.

WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

Now, the writing score was perfect. Everything was top notch here. The dialogue had a bunch of memorable lines, it is a very clear and balanced film, it’s an unforgettable story, it’s obviously original, and it’s immensely interesting, seeing how it’s a Hitchcock movie.

BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2

Behind-the-scenes also got a near-perfect score. Where did it go wrong? Well, I know a lot of people praise the editing, but nothing really stood out for me. I know people talk about the stabbing scene being edited to be scary, but what I get is something that doesn’t highlight what’s actually happening, so for the most part, the editing was fine, but not great. Everything else was fantastic. The visuals are still memorable to this day, the director (Hitchcock) always does a fantastic job at keeping things creepy and mysterious, and he does so here as well. This is a movie that is as-advertised and there’s obviously a wonderful musical score as well, as there is with most Hitchcockian films.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2

Perfect score for the narrative arc category, but that’s not really surprising. The introduction introduces us to Marianne Crane and Norman Bates, the inciting incidents is the murder sequence, the obstacles is the detective stuff, the climax was really tense and the falling action returned us all to the new norm. Everything was noticeably perfect here.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 8/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 2

How entertaining is it? Pretty darn. It’s definitely a movie you’ll want to rewatch time and time again, though it may not be one you want to buy, though I wouldn’t mind owning it. It sucks you in the entire time and you just have a good time while watching it every single time. Finally, I wouldn’t mind chatting with someone about the movie, but it wouldn’t ruin my life if I didn’t either.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 40/50
Hitchcock – 10|Series – 10|Age well – 5|Horror – 5|Memory – 10

Alright, onto the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the movie. First of all, this is a Hitchcock movie, how memorable is it as a Hitchcock film? Amazingly memorable. This is one of Hitchcock’s best movies. As far as the series goes, I haven’t finished watching the movie series at the time of me writing this, but I’ve seen a few, and this is clearly the best…so far. Does it age well, being nearly 60 years old? Yes and no. I think for the most part it feels pretty relevant, but it is black & white, and it is fullscreen, and the amount of money Marianne steals isn’t as accurate as it would be in today’s standards, so this only gets half points. As a horror film, some people consider this scary. I consider it tense and creepy, but never once scary, so half points again. Finally, is it as good as memory tells us? Absolutely.

Rating – 86/100

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