Psycho Essay

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How does Hitchcock create shock and suspense in
                          Psycho?


Marion Crane unexpectedly steals a jackpot of $40,000 from her boss. To make things even worse she goes on the run. She sleeps in a motel overnight where she is murdered by a psychopath named Norman Bates. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the best directors in the world if not the best. He is still very famous until today for he’s tension and suspenseful films.

Firstly, I will be writing about how Hitchcock builds shock and suspense in the famous shower scene. In the beginning of the shower scene the camera shots go from medium shot to extreme close up to her mouth. This is so that we could see Marion’s initial scream. The effect of this is to draw the audience in to feel her shock and terror. However the last three shots of Marion goes from different parts of her body. The effect is to see that Marion is dying. The killer’s shots go from close up shots to low angle shots. We only see the killer’s face getting closer and closer. The effect is that the audience feel like they are in the middle. Hitchcock makes the whole shower scene to be made out of quick editing. The effect of quick editing is to make the scene look scary.

Secondly, I will focus on how Hitchcock builds suspense by using point of view shots. Such as when Arbogast approaches the Bates house, the camera shots are far and we the audience don’t feel the tense. However when Lila approaches the Bates house, there are 8 point of view shots. Therefore the audience feel as if they are in the film and feel as if the house is getting closer and closer. The effect on this is to feel tense and suspense by using point of view shots and to make the audience feel like they are in the middle of the scene.

Finally, I am going to write about how Alfred Hitchcock builds suspense through the use of repetition. There are many scenes with mirrors, e.g. the one at the car lot. This shows a lot of suspense because we are not sure...

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