Psycho By Alfred Hitchcock 1960 As Compared To The 1998 Version By Gus Van Sant.

1847 words - 7 pages

In 1960 Alfred Hitchcock created a film so daring and different it is still remembered even today. Other famous films of the time being "My Fair Lady" and "The Sound Of Music", although popular these films were idealistic and picturesque. Psycho brought in the first clips of violence and nudity into cinematography. To compare Alfred Hitchcock's version of psycho to Gus Van Sant's version in 1998 is beyond doubt a problematic deed when the original was such a masterpiece.Since psycho was released in 1960, thrillers similar to it, such as 'Silence of The Lambs', and 'American Psycho' have advanced dramatically in technology, however, they have still followed the trend set by Psycho.When the opening credits begin, the audience is instantly seized by a strong sense of mystery and a chilling atmosphere. The music brings a sense of urgency to the credits. The atonal and screeching violins set a menacing repetitive tune, which replays throughout the film.With most films of that era, and even with films today, along with the credits pictures are shown which begin to tell the story behind the film. Hitchcock however, uses a new and creative tactic, the opening credits begin with a black screen, which Hitchcock uses to symbolise evil and mystery. Furthermore, grey and white lines strike across the screen this is used to symbolise the schizophrenic personality of Norman, and also a criminal mind. The striking lines are representative of the plot, as they are like the slicing knife shown in the famous shower scene and the murder of the private detective.The credits in both the 1960 version and the 1998 version follow an identical pattern with lines cutting across the screen and the same accompanying music. The only differences between the two versions is the obvious difference in cast but more significantly the colour of the lines which are no longer grey and white, instead a solid green. In my opinion the green lines do not have the same visual impact upon the audience, the black and white effect in the original version give a far greater sense of mystery and atmosphere to the film.Hitchcock further gave the film a sense of drama and mystery, by insisting that the audience must watch the film from the very beginning. The cinemas were issued with a statement from Hitchcock, ordering them not to let any one in after the film had started; as was usually the case, and posters advertising the film warned audiences that they most watch the film from the start and that they would not be allowed in once the film had begun. This dramatic effect was abandoned on the later version and consequently the film lost its initial impact on the audience. Another reason that affected the later versions impact as a horror film, was the fact that audience expectations of what was a 'scary' film had risen dramatically since the 1960's, and Psycho had been replaced by much more frightening films that had the benefit of high tech editing and special effects.One of the most dramatic...

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