Psycho

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“The screen’s master of suspense moves his camera into the icy blackness of the unexplained!”

“A new – and altogether different – screen excitement!” exclaimed the poster, and for once, it was no exaggeration. Starting as a kind of sleazy film noir in a sweltering Phoenix hotel, with a femme fatale plotting to steal from her boss, Psycho literally changes genre – and protagonists – half-way through the film. With its now iconic imagery, shocking narrative twist and nerve-shredding Bernard Herrmann score, Psycho changed the rules of cinematic suspense, and its famous shower scene not only left audiences reeling, it ushered in a completely new species of horror film – one so ahead of its time, it wouldn’t be until the ‘70s slasher boom that it would truly find its form. Arguably one of Hitchcock’s finest works, and certainly his most influential, this still-creepy classic features edgy, intense performances by Janet Leigh as the ill-fated blonde, and twitchy Anthony Perkins as a whole new type of cinematic monster – one partly inspired by real-life killer and grave-robber Ed Gein – made all the more terrifying by his “boy next door” normalcy. Why, he wouldn’t even hurt a fly … (Dir. by Alfred Hitchcock, 1960, US, 109 min., Not Rated) HD Digital