As of writing this review, I am sixteen years old and the year is 1998. I grew up surrounded by colorful slasher films such as Halloween, Scream, and Nightmare on Elm Street, and my opinion on "ancient" black and white movies are less than keen. They may have been good in their time but it is the 1990s, and the characters are almost certainly going to stale, the action pathetic, and any kind of suspense un-amounting.
But even in the '90s, the one movie that started it all... the one movie that is the beginning of slasher films and all around Hitchock's greatest movie - Psycho - is still a masterpiece. The black and white filming only adds to the filmage and every shot is a work of art. There are no long periods of suspense, but Norman Bates' psychosis is revealed and developed throughout the film. There's the shower scene, of course, which is classic in itself, a scene that has been repeated a dozen times in spoofs or comparisons, or simply someone using the screeching music for effect.
Still, everything revolves around Norman Bates, and Anthony Perkins is Norman Bates. He plays it so well - the hesitant laugh, the nervous hands, the stuttering talk - that it seems as though the character was built around him. I saw Psycho at this exact time (December) because of the obvious reason, the recreation of Psycho. I have yet to see that recreation but I would be stupefied if it could top Hitchcock's original, or if Vince Vaughn even came close to Perkins in the role of Norman.
Psycho is and always will be the king of horror films. It was the beginning of it all and- Yes mother, I'm coming.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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