Psycho ★★★★★

Back in high school (so weird to say 8+ years ago), I was a part of my school’s extracurricular symphony orchestra and fiddler ensemble. Every year when October rolled around, we’d begin rehearsing for a concert (the school had dubbed it “Spooktacular”), and it was sincerely some of my favorite times in orchestra. There was one Spooktacular in which we got to play an arrangement of Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” theme and I absolutely loved the con sordini and all-string focus of it; it was then, around the age of 16, when I first fell in love with Herrmann’s sound.

Anywho, I never ended up watching Psycho until literally today, and the opening credits was just the biggest throwback to orchestra practice for me. So so so appreciative of Herrmann’s scorewriting prowess.

So anyways, yep, I now 100% understand why Psycho has the long-lasting pop cultural impact that it did. Turns out I’m just a sucker for a good dissociative identity story—I think all my favorite films and video games incorporate some element of this. Oh yeah, and Anthony Perkins was phenomenal.

For being such a straightforward book adaptation with a restricted budget, there’s so much more to see and analyze here. Such inventive use of darkness and light and shadow and contrast. So many recurring motifs. Tons of room for psychoanalytic explanations. And of course the legendary shower scene. It’s indisputable why Psycho became the instant-classic that it did.

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