Belated Film Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’

There’s no better time to revisit the greatest horror film of all time. Or, thriller. Or, maybe, just the greatest. Ever.

In reality, Psycho isn’t even most folks’ favourite Hitchcock film. That belongs to Rear Window for enthusiasts. The Birds for metaphorical people. North By Northwest. Marnie. Rebecca. There are a lot of them, and everyone’s got a favourite. Hitch was good at what he did, and that’s exactly why Psycho is suddenly trendy again: Alfred Hitchcock was such a good director, he now has a semi-biographical movie out starring Anthony Hopkins.

It’s called Hitchcock. It’s doing well. It’s about how he created the movie, why he created the movie, and why it was so brilliant.

Upon revisiting, its genius becomes even more evident.

Not only did Hitch kill off his leading lady 30 minutes in — this is a focal point of the new movie, we hear — but he used over 60 camera angles for the now-famous shower scene. His tactics for the entirety of the film process were controversial. He funded it himself. He let his freak flag fly.

Alfred Hitchcock was many things, but VISIONARY may sum it up best.

To see a horror film from 1960, to watch the final scene where Anthony Perkins’ face does all the acting for five minutes on top of his creepy “mother” voice, to have a fat British guy unearth all the most terrifying elements of schizophrenia, and to have it all occur under such a cloud of creepiness and uncertainty…

Well, there’s really nothing like Psycho. There never has been.