Professor: Alison L. McKee, Ph.D.


12 Jan 2018

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The horror film is one of the favorite types that
people like to watch. It establishes a standard world that will be threatened
by the arrival of the other (Look at Movie, Pg99). The article Faith and
Idolatry in the Horror Film written by T.P. Telotte will use the example of
Psycho (1960) to explain how Hitchcock’s horror films affect audiences’

Firstly, Telotte points that there are two sides of
this visual process must be considered: one is the typical audience experience
of the genre; another is the focus on perception within the structure of one
film (Telotte 143). Psycho is an effective horror film which we enjoy being
scared by such movies. The reason for us to be scared by this film is that
filmmaker uses many efforts to put their fear by using a realistic context,
dark, strange landscapes, ominous shadows or abnormal noises to construct a
different environment that we rarely see in our daily life. Monsters are not an
only way to make the horror film, instead, to use an unusual composition that
let us indulge in that threaten the environment.

Secondly, another succeed is the implicitly the story
behind Psycho. To begin with, the camera moved through a window to show us,
Marion, is naked in a hotel; again, when Marion arrived in Bates Motel, and the
camera moves to within Marion’s shower, we see her bare body through a peephole
in the wall. But this time, subconsciously, we can be aware a threatening image
in our mind even though the murder doesn’t come. Telotte explained that
“Hitchcock’s most film is the hazard posed by such a lack of awareness (Telotte
149).” Psychologically speaking, we like to watch this kind of film which
reflects our visual pleasure, sexual desire, and finally homicidal mania.

The People dying is a very typical scene in the horror
film. However, one important thing is in the dying people’s eye. “Few people
die in horror films with their eyes closed (Telotte 151).” Psycho also
emphasizes Marion’s dying in the bathroom. When Marion fell, and her head
touched the floor with her open eyes, it is clear to see the light twinkles and
the water flows, which reflects she become emblematic of death itself. Compare
the closed eyes; the opened eyes make audiences capable of feeling the real
life is and bring them back to frightening. Furthermore, it is easy to
understand that if horrors become too realistically threatening, even we close
our eye, we can image the previous scary scene in our mind.

In my opinion, Psycho is a very successful horror film
even that was a 48-years-old, black-and-white movie. I want to emphasize two
aspects of this video. The first one is the role of Norman. He is dual
personality and a voyeur, but he plays a vital role in driving the whole story
line of Psycho. The setting of him is also different, unlike another character,
I don’t know he has a dual personality until I saw he dressed up like his dying
mother. And the director of Psycho, Hitchcock, use such a film to demonstrate
how a dual personality act. Another part I like from this movie is that the use
of background music. Particularly when Marion try to escape from his boss and
policeman by car. The background music becomes hurried, dangerous and fear,
which also reflects the mental activity of Marion. Audiences at this time
always are afraid of Marion would be caught.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Psycho become a
classic example of a horror movie in the movie history. Not only of its
shooting techniques but also of its role of characters. And Hitchcock knows how
to catch and lead audiences ’emotion of his film.



J.P. Telotte, Faith and Idolatry in the Horror Film, Literature/Film Quarterly,
Vol.8 No. 3, GENRE AND THEORY ISSUE (1980), PP. 143-155, Salisbury University. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43796144
Accessed on: 13-01-2018




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