My mother and I both have insomnia. I remember having it since I was four years old. I don’t remember a time where she didn’t have it, as well. As tough as the not sleeping could be at times, it did gift me memories of late-night movie watching with my mom. We’d both find ourselves in the living room, unable to fight for sleep any longer, and our not yet cable TV would offer up classic movies, and classic horror. I credit those sleepless movie watching times for my great love of both – classic films and classic horror movies.
I guess some people might say I was a strange kid. I had an obsession with cemeteries, especially the ones found at the California missions. I was also obsessed with vampires, often dreaming that one (hopefully Michael Nouri from the TV Series Cliffhanger) would come and change me, then we’d fly away together, as bats in love. And my first crush…even before Han Solo…was Vincent Price.
Maybe I was goth before I knew what goth was. A goth girl from birth, or something like that.
Strangely my super religious grandmother was a fan of classic horror movies, too. Summers and holidays spent with my grandparents usually included at least one horror movie watch.
My favorite horror movie of all-time? Although it doesn’t feature my Vincent, Psycho (1960) is without a doubt my forever favorite horror movie. So, I thought it only right to start October’s themed Movie of the Day series with Norman Bates, Marion and Lila Crane, Sam Loomis, and last but not least…MOTHER.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay by Joseph Stefano
Inspired by the book by Robert Bloch
Movie of the Day – October 2019
“We all go a little mad sometimes.” – Norman Bates
From the start of the film, Psycho has an interesting and unexpected plot. It starts out more thriller than horror, with Marian Crane, a secretary, on the run after stealing money from her boss. While on the run she finds herself checking-in at The Bates Motel and having a few encounters with the odd, but the seemingly harmless caretaker, Norman Bates.
What struck me as most interesting/surprising the first time I saw the film was how quickly Marian is killed (in the notorious/quintessential shower scene). It leaves one to wonder if part of the plot was a cautionary tale, life, and fate punishing Marian for her wrongdoings.
The plot begins to unravel when Marian’s sister comes looking for her, with the help of a private investigator. The seemingly harmless, albeit creepy (all the taxidermy, the peephole to spy on rooms) Norman begins to unravel, as well.
Though the stellar cinematography and music definitely make this film unforgettable, it is Anthony Perkins portrayal of Norman that blows me away every time.
And honestly, I’ve always had a soft spot for Norman. I can’t help it. I’m always rooting for him to conquer his mother/the personality of his mother within him.
Psycho is a thriller, psychological and psychoanalytic horror, a study in mental illness, and a slasher film all in one.
Psycho is forever my favorite horror movie.
Happy October 1st everyone!