Essay: ‘Psycho’- Alfred Hitchcock and ‘The Tell Tale Heart’- Edgar Allen Poe
How are the conventions of horror represented within ‘Psycho’ (Alfred Hitchcock) and ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ (Edgar Allen Poe)?
Throughout Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ and Edgar Allen Poe’s, ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ an abundance of cinematic and literary devices are utilised to convey the conventions of horror, those of which are made evident by both composers; with undeviating emphasis upon the duality with the protagonists psyche.
Hitchcock’s utilisation of camera switching within shower scene of ‘Psycho’ heightens our sense to the dramatic murder. The camera switching reveals a dark figure; along with the use of non-diegetic music suspense is built developing the conventions of dread and physical entrapment of Marion being naked and utterly defenceless. To enhance the audiences shock a high-angle shot of water flowing down the drain which then switches to the gruesome image of Marion’s eye before pulling back and panning around the room and then focusing on the gothic mansion along with Norman’s distressed voice: “Mother! Oh, God! Mother! Blood! Blood! ” The murder of Marion, develops the viewer’s sympathy for Norman which has been carefully arranged as Hitchcock presents him as vulnerable, existing under his domineering mother. The camera lingering on the newspaper hiding the money further heightens the audiences feeling of dread as we are aware that the money has inadvertently caused Marions death.
Similarly, through Poe’s use of alliteration and a rhetorical question within the opening sentence of ‘The Tell Tale Heart’, the audience is immediately engaged and are given an insight to the character personality and his context. “TRUE! Nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad?”
This first line of ‘The Tell Tale Heart’, hastily introduces the convention of psychological entrapment which is strongly depicted throughout the story....