How does Hitchcock create fear and tension through the structure of the story line in Psycho?

Essay by JakSmitHigh School, 11th gradeC, April 2004

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In this film Hitchcock does not use the traditional Hollywood equilibrium, disruption, solution pattern, as the main character is killed of 30 minutes into the film. It starts off traditionally with equilibrium, but there is no solution to the disruptions that occur.

The first half of the film is very uneventful; it is all build up to the events that take place in the second half of the film. The music has a strong role in the build up.

In the second half of the film the deaths occur within a short period of time. This is because the build up has already occurred and he wants to maintain the level of suspense.

The film is created so that it focuses on 3 sets of characters; it builds up tension by following one set of characters and then killing them off. This creates confusion and tension in the audience as they don't know which direction the film will go in.

The film is structured so that you don't know who mother is, or that she is the murderer until the last scene of the film, this means that throughout the film the audience are wondering who the killer is and how the mother comes into the film.

Also, by taking untraditional routes such as punishing a character for doing something good such as taking the money back or looking for clues.

Hitchcock created a lot of suspense by playing dramatic music throughout the film; this meant that the audience had no idea when the surprise was to occur. In the first half of the film, dramatic music is played when for example she is swapping her car; which is not a key moment in the film.

The cause and effect theory that is so common in Hollywood films does not...