PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho - this and more reviewed at

Psycho would be the first horror movie I ever saw. I wouldn’t so much call it horror as it is now ‘cute’ by today’s standards. It’s still a really cool film. Psycho, was of course directed by master film maker Alfred Hitchcock.

The film follows the exploits of a young real estate secretary who absconds with $40000 (a lot of money back then) entrusted to her real estate agency by a rich Texan. As fate would have it her road trip ends up stopping at the fateful “Bates Hotel” on a dark and rainy night. She then finds herself the object of the affections of one Norman Bates. Bates is not only the hotel manager, but a taxidermy afficionado and man child with very serious mother issues. I won’t go too much further into the plot of the film for fear of ruining it for the first time viewer.

I’m not sure what horror films that came before this that would have shown how the mind of a killer really works. To my knowledge this is the first film of its kind. I would suggest this film even invented the slasher genre. I’m sure the Friday 13th took some influence from this film as well as the many pop culture references (Simpsons with Skinner and Agnes) . Even the harsh string arrangements (violin or cello I assume) used in the background of the knife murder have become a part of modern culture and used to create a mood of fear in many movies since.


The film itself is extremely well shot and executed. While there is virtually no gore, the mood created, dialogue and music all contribute to a very suspenseful and engrossing watch. I guess there in lies the challenge to create a genuinely engrossing thriller with virtually no explicit gore and Hitchcock was the master. Anthony Perkins plays the role of Normal Bates perfectly. you can’t for anything more in his performance. So too was Janet Lieghs performance compelling.

The good thing about this film is that you can watch it with your horror loving offspring. This film won’t scar them for life, like some of the other films reviewed on this site would do. Honestly this is a film I would recommend to anyone. It’s not just for the horror movie fans either, it’s an all round great film! Do yourself a favour and watch it!

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