Alfred Hitchcock is a master of suspense and this movie proves it. I cannot say how awesome this movie is unless you see it. Words cannot describe Psycho and I really recommend you watch it even though it may not be all that scary and a bit cheesy at times.
Here’s the plot. All will be spoiled as usual.
Plot: There is this woman named Marion Crane that steals $40,000 from her job at the bank to help out her divorced boyfriend. She decides to flee in her car to California and drives all night and eventually parks on the side of the road and sleeps. Sometime later she is awoken by a passing officer and, after waking her and asking her how she is, the officer decides to follow Marion’s car because she seems suspicous. Marion decides to get a different car in order to stop being followed but it turns out to be a waste of time because the officer is still on her tail. As Marion is driving, a huge storm comes and Marion is forced to stop at a local motel and the caretaker, Norman Bates, is not all that he seems. Although Norman appears to be normal, and still lives with his mother at the top of the hill, he is somewhat aggressive and violent. Marion decides to take a shower and then a shadowy figure stabs Marion repeatedly until she dies. We assume that it is Norman’s mother because the killer is dressed in womens clothes and appears to be older. Norman goes to Marion’s room to check up on her and finds her dead. He then hides the body and cleans up the blood so that it will appear as if she was never here. Sometime later, Marion’s boyfriend Sam and her sister Lila go to the police because they believe Marion to be dead. They eventually get to the local motel where Norman Bates is and they eventually discover that Norman Bates is a killer. When he lost his dad as a kid, it was only him and his mother. Then when his mother found a new lover, Norman killed them both out of jealousy. In order to block the guilt, Norman dug up his mother and preserved her in tact condition. Norman has a split personality that developed when he killed his mother and now is both himself and his mother. His mother side killed Marion out of revenge for Norman killing her and her lover. The movie ends with Norman Bates in a holding cell, in his mother’s persona, saying that he will be released because “she” could never hurt anyone. Not even a fly.
As a whole the movie is very suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. I really recommend the movie based entirely on that. Also I must say that the twist ending with Norman and his mother being one and the same is a complete game changer. You really want to understand what’s going on and when it finally comes to light, I can bet that you will be saying “OH MAN NO WAY!!”(thats just incase you have never seen the movie before. If you haven’t then sorry for ruining it. But I did warn you).
The gore/scare level is not very high though. Yes you do end up seeing a ton of blood being spilt when there is the famous shower stabbing scene but other than that there is no other blood. Seeing Norman’s dead mother is pretty shocking because you think she is just sitting in her chair and all is ok. But when she spins around and she is a dead lifeless corpse then all hell breaks loose! Norman comes down dressed in his mother’s clothes and attempts to kill Sam and Lila. Damn it’s a messed up moment that really just makes you shiver and scared and a little weirded out at the same time. While this movie is not big on the scariness, I will admit that there is a certain creepiness throughout that cannot be avoided. You will feel this all the time and I hope you do enjoy those parts of the movie.
All in all the movie is very good and I would recommend watching it. The movie is not big on scariness or blood but I can say that it will be a chilling and thrilling experience to the very end. The bottom line is that this is a Hitchcock movie and if you do not like this one, then you will most likely never like The Birds or Vertigo either. And those two are fantastic.
IMDB Score: 8.6
My Score: 9.2
As a bonus here are two famous scenes from Psycho:
Dead Mother Scene
Famous Shower Stabbing Scene