Horror Movie: Psycho (TV-14; 1960; 109 min.)

This movie that kind of started it all is considered a classic for a good reason…it features great characters, suspense, a psycho on the loose, and even a dark, stormy night. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, how could you ask for more?

Psycho stars Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, an office worker who decides to steal $40,000 from her employer’s client and flee to another town to marry her boyfriend. On her way out of town, the skies let loose and she must pull off the road at the small Bates Motel for the night. There she meets Norman Bates (played oh, so deliciously by Anthony Perkins), the owner of the motel, who invites her “up to the house” where he lives behind the motel, for a bit of dinner. Since she can’t get out in the storm to look for food, she accepts. But as she “freshens up,” she overhears Norman and his elderly, ill mother argue about her joining them, so she simply eats with Norman in the hotel office.

Over sandwiches she discovers Norman’s interest in taxidermy (knew that was coming, didn’t ya?), and talks to him about his long, lonely days and nights spent caring for his mother. Perhaps he should put her in a “home?” Wrong thing to say, honey! How do we know? Because as Marion showers before bed, Norman’s mother opens the shower curtain and slashes her to death!

Norman quickly cleans up the evidence of Marion’s visit to the motel and her death. Which is a good thing since a private investigator has already begun looking for her and has tracked her to the Bates Motel. He asks a few too many questions though, so when he slips into Norman’s creepy, old house on the hill to talk to his mother, he discovers Momma isn’t such the invalid he thought. Bye-Bye Mr. Investigator!

Well, by this time Marion’s sister and boyfriend haven’t heard back from the P.I., so they also head to the B.M. (Bates Motel, not the yucky swamp-like land behind it which looks like a big toilet bowl). They devise a strategy to search the motel and the house, but when Norman grows suspicious, he takes off after them for one last showdown starring him and his UGLY Momma!

  • Top Scare: Shower scene!
  • Heartbeats: 4 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 1 1/2 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 4 1/2 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 14 and up

Next up: Whiteout

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