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AFI #14 - Psycho

Before there was Dexter Morgan, and before Patrick Bateman, there was Norman Bates. Gee, I wonder how many other people use a simliar line to start their reviews or write ups (as I prefer to call mine) of Psycho?

Im operating under the assumption that anyone who hasn't seen this movie has already be spoilt for most of it. If thats not the case, I envy your for being able to see this film as it was intended, and I very much encourage you to take the next opportunity to do so, and stop reading this write up now. I'll give you spoiler space.
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My God, I \m/ love this movie. Shouldnt surprise those of you who know me that I really do have a thing for serial killers, and Norman Bates is certainly the king of 'em all (although I think Patrick Bateman might be my personal fave). I dont even know where to start. Okay, lets go with Bates himself first. So fantastically played by Anthony Perkins. Throughout the majority of the movie, he's just someone I wanna have a conversation with. Seems like such a sweet and loveable guy, and then OMG he's crazy?! And that last shot of him still creeps me out every time I see it. With or without the superimposed skull of his mother. Gaaahhh

I think this goes without saying, but Hitchcock is just absolutely \m/ brilliant as a suspense director. I've seen this movie several times, know exactly whats going to happen, and I could still feel my heart pounding at certain key moments during the film. Seriously, I've got goosebumps now just thinking about it. And for its time, it was such a groundbreaking movie. I know that nowadays with all the cheap horror movies, its tough to really appreciate the genre. But try to put yourself in the context of 1960 when nothing like this had ever been done before. And on top of that, they pulled one of the ultimate bait and switches in movie history. It was marketed as starring Janet Leigh, and builds up like a mystery/chase thing around the stolen money. And then wham!, your leading starlet is killed halfway thru the movie while taking a shower. Yeah and how crazy is that? Hitchcock took something as ordinary as a shower and made it one of the scariest places imaginable.

On a side note, the remake is one of those things that makes me morally object to remakes in general. I've only seen a few scenes from it, but even back when I hadnt even seen all the original it made my soul hurt. Some things are just sacred, you know? I guess the saddest part (for me at least) is that for the longest time that's all I could associate Vince Vaughn with. Anyhoo, dont expect to be adding that to my wishlist any time soon. Nope, I'll stick to the original, even if I do only have it on VHS

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