Exploring How Alfred Hitchcock Manipulates The Audience In Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock is thought to be, by most, the greatest film
director of all time. He was born in Leytonstone, London on13 August
1899. He directed many great films such as The Lodger, The Birds,
Sabotage, Notorious, Rear Window, and of course one of his greatest
achievements ever, Psycho in 1960. He directed the first British sound
film - Blackmail. Alfred Hitchcock once said, " Audience reaction is
more important than the content of the film". Throughout and before
the playing of Psycho, Hitchcock manipulates the audience in many
The words that Alfred Hitchcock said that illustrates manipulation in
Psycho the most is "Terror is often accompanied by suspense in the
unfolding of a thrilling narrative - or, to put it another way, a
story which gives the reader a feeling of terror necessarily contains
a certain measure of suspense". We can really see in Psycho that this
is true, because all of the terror and surprise in the film is due to
the building of suspense, done by Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock first starts too manipulate the audience before the
screening of Psycho has even begun. The short trailer manipulates the
audience's perception of what the film contains, and what the genre of
the film is. Psycho is a thriller, but this is not what the audience
suspect when they watch the trailer.
Hitchcock manipulates the ideas that the audience has about the themes
and issues of Psycho. One of the main manipulations that occur in the
trailer is as Alfred Hitchcock gives an image that Norman Bates'
mother is alive. He does this by describing Norman Bates as being
dominated by his mother. This is not say the truth about the mother
being dead, but does not lie either. Normans mother is dead, but is
alive in the mind of Norman. She is therefore dominating Normans mind.
Alfred Hitchcock makes us infer that the mother was alive throughout
the film. This manipulates the audience throughout the film. The
audience thinks that the mother is alive, and therefore, she can
potentially be the killer in the film. She is the killer in the film,
yet is not the killer. Hitchcock also makes some scenes in the film
sound so immense, that he is unable to describe it. As he describes
something, he talks really fast, giving us an impression that it is a
fast scene. He also does not finish the sentences. This makes the
audience want to see what really happens in the film.
"It's difficult to describe the wayâ€¦the twisting of theâ€¦ it's too
difficult to describe"
When describing some scenes in the film, he uses hand movements to
show "twisting". This makes us eager to see what happens. When Alfred
Hitchcock reaches some parts of the set, he makes some faces and talks
differently. This makes the audience infer that...