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Avenging-Hobbits


A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

More Blog Posts1733

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    1 comments · 41 views
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    There's gold in them thar smut, after all.

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    Sorry to disappointed.

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    4 comments · 561 views
  • 226 weeks
    Perhaps I should undergo a reincarnation

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    Read More

    7 comments · 1,348 views
  • 235 weeks
    Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    First things first, I'm not dead.

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    9 comments · 1,085 views
Oct
31st
2015

Review: Psycho (1960) · 7:01pm Oct 31st, 2015

Alfred Hitchcock's slasher-thriller is one of the best films in the genre, and one of the best Hitchcock films period.



Now, obviously, as a modern day viewer watching it 50+ years later, it's obviously not going to be as bone chilling or as frightening as it would have been to the original audience. If anything, 50 years of references and pop culture osmosis has managed to 'spoil' the jump scares and plot twists, yet, Hitchcock is such an effective film maker that the film still manages to send a creepy chill down the spine of the viewer.

Here, in a manner not seen since Rear Window, Hitchcock indulges in his love of voyeurism, with the camera tracking and probing throughout the film, acting as either a POV for the characters, or as a strange, otherworldly observer of the events of the story. This constant camera movement actually makes the film creepier, as it feels like one is always being watched by someone or something that knows everything you're thinking or planning or doing. The murder scenes are also shockingly in your face for a film of this era, and Hitchcock films them with devious glee.

The acting is, as always for Hitchcock, top notch, with Anthony Perkins giving a career defining performance as the creepy serial killer Norman Bates. The best part about his performance is that, until the finale, we never actually SEE him commit a crime. The camera always avoids showing the murderer's face, so while the audience definitely is suspicious of Norman, we're still not quite able to lock down that he is the killer. Even so, Perkins' performance manages to make Bates supremely unsettling. From his overcompensating amiability, his strange, herky-jerky cadence and facial ticks, and wiry, spindly build that reminds us of a scarecrow, and Perkins creates an iconic performance.

The rest of the cast, consisting of Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh and Martin Balsam, all do an excellent job at playing their characters. Janet Leigh managed to net an Oscar nomination for her role as the scheming Marion Crane, who, after stealing $40,000 on impulse from her boss, finds herself staying at the Bates Motel for the night, and meeting her demise in the iconic shower scene. Her story takes up the first half of the narrative, and is a beautiful example of playing with viewer expectations. A paranoia fueled run from the police leads us to believe this film will focus on her slide into evil, but Hitchcock masterfully pulls the rug out from underneath us.

In the second half of the film, the focus shifts to the trio of Balsam, Gavin and Miles, all of whom do a great job at searching for Leigh's character. The film is less paranoid in this second, instead shifting into a mystery film with thriller elements, and the subtle genre shift is perfect. It flows organically, and doesn't feel forced. Their acting is top notch, especially Miles.

The cinematography by John L. Russell is top notch, being stark yet obviously noir styled. Mixing Hitchcock's fluid camera movements, and his use of lensing, Russell helps contribute vastly to the paranoid aura of the film.

Of course, one can't speak of a Hitchcock film without speaking of Bernard Herrmann, master maestro of cinema. His score here is absolutely iconic, and marked the growing crescendo of his creative explosion from 1956-1966. The shrill, constant rising and falling of the strings, and nothing else, helps create a chilling aura of fear, and without the score, the film wouldn't be half as atmospheric.

So suffice to say, I think Psycho is pretty damn awesome. It manages to creep you out without being tacky, and also manages to stand as a proper film, and not just a genre piece.

5 out of 5 stars.

Comments ( 1 )

This is, to date, one of two movies that has been legitimate nightmare fuel for me. I was never scared of any movie until I saw this one

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