Exploring How Hitchcock Creates Tension in Psycho

Good Essays
Exploring How Hitchcock Creates Tension in Psycho

The film Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock is a horror movie about a

girl called Marion being dramatically killed in Norman Bates’s motel.

It was made in the 1960’s and still considered extremely scary because

of the techniques Hitchcock has used such as lighting, sound tracks,

costumes, the use of colours, weather, camera angles and music.

Hitchcock has been described as “the master of horror movies” because

he has perfected these techniques by using them at the right time and

place; also he has shown a lot of experience of making horror movies

within the other’s he has made.

Hitchcock used the plot to build tension. He relaxes us at first by

starting with a love scene, where Marion is in her underwear in a room

kissing with her boyfriend which leads us into a thought that it’s

going to be a romantic film with a happy ending. However, as the film

goes on so does the track of suspense which makes the audience feel


Hitchcock’s manipulation of soundtrack constructs tension at many

points.. Hitchcock has used this technique in the film in the shower

scene. While Marion was in the shower there was no music except for

the sound of the water and suddenly the music is loud, crashing and

brings terror to the audience as the murder occurs. This use of

soundtrack makes the audience comfortable at first and as soon as the

loud music comes in, it makes the audience fell menacing which makes

us jump but always acts as a contrast to the sharp music.

Hitchcock uses the costumes to be shocking and sometimes makes the

characters scary. For example he has used this technique for ...

... middle of paper ...

...rman Bates’s house next to the motel,

which showed a shadow of somebody walking past the window. This makes

us enquiring such as who lives is in the house or is the house owned

by ordinary people which has the effect of make the audience nervous.

This use of shots combines with other techniques, which creates the

overall effect of tension for the audience.

In conclusion, Alfred Hitchcock deserves his title of the ‘master of

horror movies’ because of the way he builds up to tension to the main

scene in the shower. He drags tension rapidly when the audience feels

relaxed to make us jump. He tries to makes us suspicious at a maximum

level, by combining different techniques in one scene. At his moment I

thkn the best part of the film would be where Hitchcock has mislead

the audience that it is a story of a stealng scene.
Get Access