Psycho Schmycho

Since Halloween is tomorrow, this seems an appropriate time to post about Psycho.

I finally saw Psycho after watching Hopkins's and Mirren's Hitchcock. I then watched it, Psycho, again, mostly to try to figure out what I missed.

I dunno. Maybe everything.

But I'm afraid I don't really see what all the hoopla is about.

Anthony Perkins is amazing--truly phenomenal. It's a pity Janet Leigh dies at the half-way mark because her character is more interesting than everyone else in the film. The bathroom scene is technically impressive.

Otherwise . . . eh.

My main problem with the film is that Hitchcock was so worried about people guessing the ending  that he didn't play fair (from a mystery reader's point of view). The big reveal didn't strike me as impressive or surprising or amazing. It just struck me as kind of weird and huh?ish.

A big reveal should shock. But it should also leave the person thinking, "Oooh, so that's the connection!" You can go back and watch the film again and see how the clues all combine to form the ending. I was one of those people who was actually surprised by the ending of The Sixth Sense; every time I've watched it since, the ending becomes more and more inevitable. Of course, that's how it all comes together!

Joseph Cotten
With Psycho, after the second viewing, my reaction was not, "Oh, now I get it!" My reaction was "Wow, that movie really makes no sense at all."

It doesn't help that I read a ton of John Douglas and know the difference between disorganized and organized killers. If Norman is truly the type of killer Hitchcock postulates, he should be giving off way more red flags.

As I mentioned, Perkins does an amazing job, but if you want a truly frightening Hitchcock serial killer more in line with current research, check out Joseph Cotten in Shadow of Doubt. Great film! And as a debonair, moral-less Ted Bundy-type killer, Cotton is absolutely chilling.


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