I’m far from a film buff. If one of my favourite authors is releasing a book, I’ll pre-order it on Amazon but I’ll often give new blockbusters a pass at the cinema, presuming that I’ll catch them on “video” before forgetting about them completely. And growing up I usually watched the same films over and over again (hello Peter Pan, Bambi, and Dumbo as a child and Empire Records, Clueless, and Fight Club as a teenager).
Needless to say there are more than a few classic films that I’ve never seen. So when compiling this year’s birthday list and thinking about what new experiences I wanted to have, I decided to watch a classic film that I’d heard referenced countless times without ever seeing for myself. I chose Psycho. I’d only seen three Hitchcock films previously, so I knew some serious catching up to do.
Luckily Matthew has a copy on DVD. One evening we cuddled up in bed to give it a watch. We actually ended up watching it in two parts – because that’s what happens when you put on a film right before bedtime.
In case you’ve never seen it, Psycho is the story of Marion Crane, who steals $40,000 from her employer and goes on the run. She disappears after checking into the Bates Motel and having an encounter with its propietor, creepy mama’s boy, Norman Bates. Marion’s sister Lila and boyfriend Sam Loomis, along with Detective Arbogast, set out to find out what’s happened to her.
I’m surprised that years of pop culture references hadn’t spoiled the ending for me. And while the film wasn’t quite what I was expecting (that shower scene is way overhyped!), I really enjoyed it. Psycho has that unsettling suspense that builds slowly (very slowly sometimes) and there was at least one moment near the end that almost made me jump out of my skin.
Have you seen Psycho? What classic film is on your must-watch list?