The tension in some parts of the film is somewhat so great that it becomes unbearable at times. If you have never seen ‘Psycho’ before you would never be able to predict what was coming next due to the suspenseful thinking and editing that Hitchcock has done. Hitchcock draws on natural instincts from the audiences such as when a burglar goes into a room, all the time he’s going through the drawers, the audience is generally anxious for him and when Norman is looking at the car sinking in the pond, even though he’s burying a body, when the car stops sinking for a moment, the audience is thinking, “I hope it goes all the way down!
“This is a natural instinct. Hitchcock draws the audience into the film and can deceive the audience by using clever camera shots. This distracts the audience from one event to another, causing a feeling of distress and suspense within the viewer. Hitchcock had a hanging camera follow Norman up the stairs, and when he went into the room he continued going up without a cut. As the camera was raised to the top of the door, it was turned and shot back down the stairs again.
Meanwhile, an argument was taking place between the son and his mother to distract the audience and take their minds off what the camera was doing. In this way the camera was above Norman as he carried his mother back down the stairs and the public did not notice a thing. It is excites Hitchcock to use the camera to deceive the audience. The scene in which Marion’s sister, Lila, discovers Norman’s mothers’ body in the cellar is a key scene and an element to the build up of suspense for the final scene. The build up to this scene is very intense.
The audience is shown all of Norman’s childhood memories and thoughts. You then are taken down into the fruit cellar where they hear the shrieking and squawking of birds. The camera then turns and goes to a back view of Norman Bates’ mother. Lila approaches the figure and it spins round to reveal a skeleton of an old woman. As Lila backs up she turns and knocks the light on the ceiling. This swings back and forth casting shadows around the room. This creates a shocking and puzzling effect to the audiences mind.
It becomes almost impossible to focus on single objects as the light deceives the eyes of the audience into thinking that everything is moving around. I conclude that Hitchcock is the master of suspense due to his tremendous efforts and expertise that have made ‘Psycho’ such a masterpiece and a classic. He used all the available sources and elements needed to make the film so great. He used manual effects to create and sustain the suspense throughout the film, unlike today’s directors who rely on technologically generated effects.