Although Alfred Hitchcock passed away almost four decades ago, his work conclusively impacts the film industry, prevalent today. Hitchcock’s Psycho explores suspense and telepathic effects on the audience, through technical and symbolic codes evident in the Psychiatric scene. This appraises the influence Hitchcock acquires within the suspense and horror genre concocting conclusions that will be mentioned in this case study.
Screen Education Australia “is a partially refereed quarterly magazine written by and for teachers and students in primary and secondary schools in all curriculum areas, as well as some areas of tertiary study”. Screen Australia is significant when running a study on Hitchcock because it conveys awareness towards the diverse culture in the film industry present-day. Screen Education grants millennial students the translation––being their accessible resources they requisite to interpret Hitchcock’s Psycho, as the film was released in the previous century.
Alfred Hitchcock has influenced the film industry quite drastically hence given the title “Master of Suspense”. His exclusive approach and techniques consolidated into his cinematography, grips audiences when tested by their interests. Hitchcock’s connection with his audiences, concedes them to trust him on the journey they are about to experience when consciously viewing his films. He, influences the audience continuously, drawing his audience’s attention to the screen. Hitchcock’s “layered storyline and ground-breaking plot twists redefine the genre” concreating new elements that are used in the film industry today.
Going hand in hand with Contemporary Hollywood which also kept people on the edge of their seat. This balance with Hitchcock’s genre in film, pleases the needs of sophisticated moviegoers by “drawing attention to, underlining, and pointing out what it is that the audience needs to see or hear in order to read or understand the scene”. The relationship Hitchcock has with audiences establishes the expectation for the industry in modern context today.
Hitchcock’s Psycho, In the final scene of Psycho, a Police Officer is delivering a blanket to the physical Norman and psychological Mother. The audience peruses the Officer down the narrow hallway to a door, that the audience can only see from the same position. As the audience assumes the blanket is presented, a ‘Thankyou” in Mother’s voice is heard. An unimpressed officer is shaping an unimpressed facial expression whist sighing. This is one clear representation of how people with Dissociative Identity Disorder were treating during the 1960s. Although “institutions were established to help sufferers of mental illness, stigmatization and discrimination reached an unfortunate peak”.
In this particular scene the audience views Norman as an evil wicked person because of the devilish facial expression, he composes a strong front when dwelling in the lonely room. Norman Bates is rarely seen from the front on because of the effect the dark shadow had on the side of his face. Through the use of this camera technique, the audience is guided to view Norman as negative energy. This effect also shows that half of him is himself and the other half is the dead Mother. Hitchcock has encouraged the audience to detect a sadistic and abnormal character. The audience––had received a valid explanation for Norman’s actions––is left terrified and confused by the last scene of Norman and the manifestation of his split personality. Faced with this spectacle, Hitchcock forces the audience to examine its conscious self in relation to the events that it had just subjectively played a role in.
Psycho concludes by providing a blatant explanation for Norman’s psychotic tendencies. The fear that Psycho creates for the audience does not arise from the brutality of the murders but from the subconscious identification with the film’s characters who all reflect one side of a collective character. Hitchcock enforces the idea that all the basic emotions and sentiments derived from the film can be felt by anyone as the unending battle between good and evil exists in all aspects of life. The effective use of character parallels and the creation of the audience’s subjective role in the plot allows Hitchcock to entice terror and a convey a lingering sense of anxiety within the audience through a progressively intensifying theme. Hitchcock’s brilliance as a director has consolidated Psycho’s place among the most reputable and profound horror films ever made.
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