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Psycho
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Reviews & Ratings for
Psycho More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

They cannot make it better!

10/10
Author: Dee-26 from Illinois
29 November 1998

This movie kept me on the edge of my seat, and made me afraid of the shower. And the music in this movie was incredibly intense. I don't think they can improve on this movie. We don't need to see more of the gory details to know what is happening.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The Greatest Movie of All Time!

10/10
Author: Thomas Steele (lokifen@hotmail.com) from Atlanta, GA
26 November 1998



I viewed this movie at the age of 9 years old. It has been my favorite movie ever since. Almost 20 years. The two movies that affected me most as a child were: "The Amityville Horror" (I've had more dreams about that house than any other thing..ever!) and "Psycho". After watching "Psycho", I never viewed ANYTHING as being 100% safe. No castles, no zombies, no monsters. Normal people in risky situations exposed before all. Everyone has skeletons in their closets. Even those who seem to be as harmless as a fly. (Such as Norman Bates). This movie not only changed the course of movie history, by killing off the apparent heroine 1/3 of the way through the film (making history) but, proved that their was absolutely NOWHERE to be totally safe. It revealed inner demons of the two main characters which reflect on the entire world and maybe the truest description of how the world really is. Deep down we all have these bad thoughts, but unlike Norman Bates, most of us can bottle them up inside and carry them to the grave.After all, "we all go a little mad...sometimes".

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

One of the greats

10/10
Author: anonymous
26 November 1998

This film is without doubt a classic. One of very few films to maintain any sort of mystery and suspense despite its ageing. Some films stand the test of time, and Psycho is brilliant. It freaked me out when I first saw it, despite everything: black and white, actors I'd never heard of, and my first Hitchcock experience. If you haven't seen it, you're either too scared or haven't had the opportunity, but either way, you're doing yourself a great disservice.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Creepy, Excellent, and Amazing Horror Flick! Best Thriller Ever!!

10/10
Author: BeamMeUp from Rockford, Michigan
4 November 1998

The first time I saw this movie it scared me incredibly. I have been an avid fan of the "Scream" movies since they first came out, and I must say, this movie surpasses them to be #1 on my favorite horror movies.

I wasn't expecting many scares from a movie made in 1960, but once again, Alfred Hitchcock proves why he is the Master of Suspense.

I don't know how the upcoming remake can accurately mimic the original's creepy and frightening feeling, but I'll still be there on opening weekend. BTW, make sure you watch the original BEFORE watching the remake.

I know you've heard it a thousand times, but if you haven't seen this movie, MAKE IT A TOP PRIORITY! It's simply incredible.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

My favorite movie...

10/10
Author: Mike Salvati from New Jersey
3 November 1998

I think this is one of the best films ever made. It's a true classic. I have seen it over 20 times and I find something new in it every time I see it and it never gets boring. I'm really disappointed that they chose to remake it. But 50 years from now, people will remember the original and not the remake. A lot of people these days will be turned off by the movie because it's old and in black and white, but everyone should see. It's a technical marvel, Hitchcock was a wizard with the camera. There are also terrific performances by Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. This movie basically started the whole slasher film genre that John Carpenter kick-started in 1978 with Halloween. In addition to being a great movie, it's also one of the most influential ever made. Look at films like Brian DePalmas's Dressed to Kill and Halloween if you don't believe me.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

great

Author: matt-128 from california
29 October 1998

This is one Hitchcock's best, except for that dumb final speech, which is entirely unnecessary. But it redeems itself with that final shot. Can you believe they've made another "Psycho?" This is the worst thing to happen to movies since Ted Turner wanted to colorize "Citizen Kane," but that never happened. This is happening. This just sickens me to think about it. And of course we're going to get those geeky teenagers that will make the film a profit. Gus Van Sant used to be a good director, now he's just another make-movies-for-profit-only director. SELL OUT!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Shower of terror.

10/10
Author: tamimarie228 from Iowa
23 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Marion is a naughty girl and she gets into some trouble with money. She steals a lot of money so she goes on the run and ends up at an old motel with a scary looking house behind it. Norman Bates runs the hotel and he seems really nice so then Marion decides to take a shower.

I think that this was one of the very first "slasher" type movies. A lot of people avoided taking a shower after seeing this movie. I think that this movie still holds up today as being great. This movie is a classic and the music stays in your head forever. Marion has no idea who Norman or his "mother" are. Avoid taking a shower after viewing- at least for a day.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

since everyone knows the story, let's talk about camera angles and such...

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
14 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I checked the spoiler box because I think that even any discussion about camera angles will give the ending away. For starters, when Marion and Norman first meet, you can see Norman's reflection in the window, as if there's two of him. When Marion and Norman are eating dinner in the room with the stuffed birds, you can see that some of the birds are positioned so that their beaks look almost as if they're pecking at both Marion and Norman; something is eating at Norman, and we get to see a premonition of Marion's impending fate. When Norman looks through the hole (which incidentally is behind a picture of two people attacking a woman), we get a POV shot; when Marion is in the shower, we get a POV shot. When Norman pushes Marion's car into the swamp, half of his face is in a shadow, as if he has two sides.

On the subject of those birds, there are several references to birds throughout the movie: Marion's last name is Crane, she comes from Phoenix, and finally, the stuffed birds. The truth is, Hitchcock had a keen interest in avians; in "Sabotage", a woman finds her strength after watching "Who Killed Cock Robin?", then the bird references in "Psycho", and finally, the ornithological uprising in "The Birds". Speaking of the characters' names, there's Crane (a bird), Bates (bait), Loomis (gloom), and Arbogast (aghast).

Another thing that Hitch does in this movie is play with the audience. First, the movie focuses on Marion. When she steals the money, you're not sure whether to root for her, because she is the main character and you want her to succeed, but do you want her to steal? Then, the movie focuses on Norman. When he hides Marion's murder, you want him to succeed, but succeed in hiding a murder? Finally, the focus shifts to Lila.

Everyone remembers the shower scene, but what does it mean? It seems as though Marion, by flushing the paper down the toilet, was washing away her misdeeds, and taking a shower consecrated that.

The dialogue is of course a key part. Obviously, "Mother...what's the phrase...isn't quite herself today." and "A boy's best friend is his mother." are premonitions, but there are others. In the discussion of institutions, Norman talks about "...the cruel eyes studying you." Then, when he looks through the hole, his eyes study Marion. At the end, you might say that there are three explanations: first, the bombastic psychiatrist explains Norman's mental state; then, "mother" describes how her son is guilty; and finally, the car is towed out of the swamp, as though they have dug into the putridity of Norman's mind. They have penetrated Norman's mind, just like the knives penetrated Marion's and Arbogast's bodies.

On the DVD, you should watch the original trailer, which has Hitch showing us around the motel and house. He was really playing with the audience there. First off, he looked into a toilet. No movie had ever portrayed a toilet (but everyone knew why toilets existed), so what must the audience have thought about that? Also, he looks in a closet, looks surprised, and closes the closet. Did he see something in there? I try to imagine being someone who saw that trailer, and then saw the movie, waiting to see what would happen.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

If there is one single film that can claim to be THE best of all time, then this is it....

10/10
Author: gus81 from Sydney Australia
6 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*, if there can be in a film as famous as this....

Psycho probably has the most famous (and/or infamous) scene in the history of movies - the shower scene. The shower is in the Bates motel, run by Norman Bates, and his 'mother'. Even today, if someone looks freaky, many still say he looks like Norman Bates. If someone has a clingy or naggy mother, many a Norman Bates allusion is referred to. Psycho has become etched into modern culture and become a household name. Why?...because the film was a milestone, not just of gore, but of cinematic effect and technique. Psycho is, all at the same time, taut, mesmerising and terrifying. It is a textbook example of how to captivate an audience, and then shock them right at the very end.

The film starts by introducing a love-lorn and frustrated heroine, complete with a dead-end job, and a relationship that needs a jump start. The audience is introduced to her and her troubles; we follow her, and feel for her - then she is murdered right in front of us. The array of characters introduced in the first half of the film - the arrogant 'Texan' guy who flashes forty thousand dollars, the bumbling boss, the suspicious highway cop, the dumbfounded used-car salesman - all amount to nothing. This pioneering change in plot has the same effect as a tree which you collide with after pulling up the handbrake on a speeding car.

Then enter Milton Arbogast, the private detective who begins the search for our slain heroin Marion Crane. He investigates the Bates Motel and finds something amiss. He reports the news to the worried boyfriend and sister of Ms Crane - they all develop some trust and repartee. Then he's dead. Then enter the local town cop who doesn't believe the boyfriend's and the sister's suspicions, while all the time the audience knows what really happened and why people are dying at the hands of an 'evil old lady' who the disturbed Norman Bates is desperate to protect.

The whole film was a totally new way of writing a plot, and of manipulating a storyline. The supposed lead character is killed early on, a replacement protagonist suffers the same fate; and all the audience are then left with are the utterly desperate and confused Lila Crane (sister) and Sam Loomis (boyfriend), who have only their suspicions and fear to drive them toward finding the truth. The audience feels for them, because we know that Norman's mother murdered Marion Crane.....or at least we think we do.

Psycho only runs for around an hour and a half. It is the tautest thriller I've ever seen. Not one scene is wasted on being filler. Each scene is purposeful, powerful, and extremely economical. The pace is cracking when it needs to be, and slow and hypnotic when emotion and fear need to be emphasised; note the long scene as Norman Bates cleans up the murder scene - this allows the horror of what just happen sink in.

The script is rattling, with some flourishing dialogue that even overshadows some wooden acting from John Gavin. The cinematography is brilliant, with great use of lighting and shadows. And, of course, the directing is just simply cutting edge, even for today. Anthony Perkins does a perfectly chilling job as the psychotic Norman Bates, and Martin Balsam is a completely natural private eye. And famously, to complement these ground-breaking plot twists, are the chilling and perfectly executed murder scenes.

And finally, the chilling revelation of what really happened at the Bates Motel is kept right until the blood-curdling end, and is realised through a ear-splitting scream, a rotting skull, and a naked swinging lightbulb; a scene which leaves the audience shocked, terrified and thrilled after such a roller-coaster of a movie. For those few people to whom the 'spoliers' warning at the start of this piece applies, go and rent this film. It is simply a must for everyone. It is a defining moment of modern popular culture, and as such if there ever was a convincing candidate for the greatest movie ever made title, well then this is it.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Classic Mystery!

Author: KyleW from PA
28 July 1999

Psycho is definitely the best Hitchcock movie, and the best mystery movie of all time. Maybe it's not a really scary movie, but it is great and dramatic. It kept me guessing until the end. The end scene had to be the scariest, much better than the infamous shower scene. Anthony Perkins is brilliant, along with some other cast members. It makes you think long after the movie. I would give it *** out of four or a B+.

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