On October 27, I had driver’s education until six o’clock. I figured that because I was already at Stevenson, I should just stay for Haunted High. I could use it for a cultural event or extra credit and I knew of a few friends who were attending. I have absolutely no idea why I possibly thought this could end in such a way that I wasn’t completely terrified. I hate horror movies, haunted houses, and generally anything scary. Prior to Haunted High, I had only seen one horror movie, House at the End of the Street, and I only agreed to watch it if my cousin told me exactly what was going to happen and when.
Anytime I hear a scary story I will spend the next week or two terrified that whatever it was about would come and kill, hurt, or haunt me. All of that considered, I somehow still thought it would be enjoyable to watch the famous Psycho. Psycho is famous for its music. Bernard Hermann carefully composed the soundtrack in a way that taps into the viewer’s minds and creates suspense. Almost every current day movies have a soundtrack to go along with the movie. Typically, I tend to not hear the songs because they’re blocked by the action. Psycho did the complete opposite of that.
For most of the movie, all I could hear was the music. Alfred Hitchcock had incorporated a multitude of silent scenes into the movie therefore the music would be heard. These decisions are what caused me to hide in my seat. The music was made to sound as if something was about to happen and I had believed it. Frequently, I would anticipate that something was coming because of the music and afterwards I would have a weird combination of relief and additional fear. The music was able to cause a constant feeling of uncertainty, which kept viewer on the edge of their seat the entire movie.
I believe that one of the more significant reasons why the music was remarkably successful was sue to the fact that they had used only string instruments. For the most part, string instruments have an exceedingly elegant sound. Bernard Hermann had taken that elegance and threw it away. Instead of having the violins blend together to create a beautiful rhythm, he purposely had them play notes that had a horrendous screeching sound. One element that I love about string instruments is that they have the ability to mimic different emotions. The same instruments can sound lively, sad, or fearful by playing different notes.
The impact that string instruments have on a person’s emotions, was used to manipulate the viewers of Psycho. The music started to intensify, you became afraid and when the music died down, you relaxed a bit more. Bernard Hermann had cleverly used this mimic to fill the audience with fear and overall made the movie more successful. Psycho had had a massive impact on pop culture. Numerous songs, movies, and TV shows reference this famous movie. At Haunted High, we were handed a packet about the move. On the front of the page it mentioned multiple references that can be found in different areas of our culture.
Three of the references noted, I had never noticed. The first reference I ed up was from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In one scene, Mike Teavee is shrunk down and transported into a TV. In the scene Mike visits different TV stations, one of which is playing Psycho. I had noticed this scene before, however I never was able to understand the reference until now. The second reference was in Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start the Fire. ” I knew that it had mentioned the movie, though I needed to listen to the song again to hear the movie’s song.
I never noticed that he had four beats play as he sang “Chubby Checker, Psycho. ” The one that shocked me the most was Finding Nemo. I have watched and listen to my dad quote that movie countless times. Somehow I never noticed that the famous score, “The Murder,” played when Darla faced the camera. After finding this out, I immediately re-watched the movie to hear it. Furthermore, Psycho had a major impact on the horror genre. Psycho was one of the first slasher horror movies, horror movies that generally feature a murder or serial killer who wields a bladed weapon.
This movie had been the inspiration for villains such as Freddy Krueger, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th, and Michael Myers, Halloween. Psycho had started the idea of a new horror genre and movies such as Halloween had truly made it into a style of horror. Another way Psycho impacted the horror genre was by adding musical keys. This movie was one of the first to have music trigger as certain action was shown Every time Mrs. Bates came in with a knife, the staccato music began. In Halloween, whenever Michael Myers is about to kill someone, the familiar piano music begins to play.
This effect has been replicated countless times in the horror genre. Due to my interest in filmmaking, I tend to research random facts about the movie. Through this research, I fell in love with the effort they put into the making of Psycho. In horror movies birds are a common motif. They were everywhere throughout Psycho. They were flying around, the one animal that Norman Bates enjoyed to stuff, and they even made the last name of the character Crane. In addition, Alfred Hitchcock had used multiple unique camera angles and methods of developing the plot.
The scene where Marion Crane has just stolen the money and is now packing up her belongings, he could’ve easily had her talking to somebody about what she was doing or he could’ve just shown her packing up. Instead he panned the camera from the dresser over to the suitcase, next over to the money, and finally up to Marion. Alfred Hitchcock had used this strategy of storytelling numerous times throughout the film. Moreover, admire his decision to shoot in black and white. He had the option to film in color, yet decided that it would be more intense in black and white.
The decision had paid off because it added to the movie and it had allowed him to avoid problems with tiny details such as using chocolate syrup instead of fake blood. That’s the other aspect I love about the behind the scenes of movies. There’s an abundance of lively and interesting events that happen behind the camera. I enjoy finding facts similar to how the shower scene was shot for over seventy different camera angles, had around sixty cuts, and had a crew member repeatedly stab different fruits until he found the right noise for his sound effect.
My favorite behind the scenes fact I found was the length the cast had gone too, to keep the major plot a secret. When asked about the movie, the media was told that the plot was about a girl who steals forty-thousand dollars, nothing was mentioned about the main character being killed half way through the film. Additionally, he had refused to mention that Mrs. Bates was dead. He had given out two names, Judith Anderson and Helen Hayes, as possible actors for Mrs. Bates. T resulted in other actors contacting Hitchcock about casting them in the movie.
Alfred Hitchcock had even gone as far as trying to buy every copy of the book Psycho, to prevent people from finding out the plot twists and ending. I can’t come up with any other examples of someone going to that extent to avoid spoilers. At the end of Haunted High I was surprised. I expected to be extremely petrified with fear and wishing I hadn’t stayed. I genuinely thought Psycho was a terrific movie. It wasn’t filled with gore and jump scares similar to current movies in the horror genre are.
I was still sinking into my seat every time the music filled me with suspense, yet I was never hiding from the absolute horror that I had anticipated. I’m sure the few violent scenes would’ve been considered gory when Psycho came out, although nowadays, the effects are almost laughable. These outdated effects helped me survive the movie without cringing yet never did they take away from the movie. After viewing the movie for myself, I understand why this movie has become extremely iconic and is commonly referenced in pop culture today. This movie was absolutely phenomenal and I will probably even watch it again.
Haunted High wasn’t close to any cultural event I have ever done. I have been to other Global Ed sponsored movies, however Haunted High was different. This cultural event truly put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to try something new. I am extremely glad that I did and I would highly recommend that others attend Haunted High and watch Psycho, especially if you’re not quite into the horror movies. Psycho has showed me that just cause the movie is labeled as horror, doesn’t imply that I’ll hate it. Watching Psycho may have even allowed me to open my mind and I might even consider watching a different horror movie.