"Psycho" is a film about being trapped

Essay by noelckcHigh School, 10th gradeA, June 2007

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Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960) a film about the story of Marion Crane, her adventure of how she disappears after stealing $40 000 and is then murdered by a mysterious figure at the Bates Hotel. As an investigation into her murder is opened, twists surprise the viewer until the climatic ending. Through the use of camera angles, film techniques, dialogue, and sound effects, the film portrays the main characters as they are being trapped, unable to escape their state of mind, the guilt of their actions.

Right at the start of the film, we get the impression of being trapped from the combination of music and graphics. Through the use of the sliding horizontal and vertical bars, it instantly reminds us of jail cells, being held captive of where we are. Throughout the whole movie, a lot of scenes will contain parallel lines, be it the blinds of the window, or even the railings around the stairs.

Hitchcock planned everything carefully to place these things in the shot. The small melody in the opening credits is used again in the scenes where Marion is in her car fleeing from somebody, as it creates suspense as though she is being chased.

In the opening scene, during the dialogue between Marion and the man of her affair Sam, we understand that the two of them are unable to cater for each other with their current lifestyles. During their conversation, we understand that Marion is tired of having to sneak out during her lunchbreaks to be with Sam, and at the same time, Sam is not financially stable enough to support his relationship with Marion. The two of them are stuck or "trapped" in Phoenix. They both long to escape to California and start a new life together.

Near the beginning of...