Often hailed as the greatest horror movie of all time and Alfred Hitchcock‘s masterpiece, ‘Psycho’ deals with two frightening issues. First, there’s the story of Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh), a young professional who decides to abandon her life after stealing $40,000 from her employer, checking in to a lonely motel. Then, there’s Norman Bates, the lonely man and taxidermist, who runs the motel.
Initially, you’re led to believe that the film is about Marion. False. The film is about Norman’s domination by his mother, who is actually dead and possess Norman.
The genius of this film is that the horror isn’t explicit. Rather it is implied.
In the famous shower scene, you never see the knife penetrate Marion’s body. However, the idea of a man possessing multiple personalities spying on and then ultimately killing the sole patron of his motel is enough to send shivers down your spine.
As he tends to do, Ebert said it best:
“What makes Psycho immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten as we leave the theater, is that it connects directly with our fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mothers.”