Thursday, March 5, 2009

Moment of Horror #5

While there are many great moment's in horror and this segment is not intended as a top 10 list, or to represent rankings in anyway whatsoever, I felt I couldn't go another installment without including what is quite possibly one of the greatest scenes in the history of film, horror or otherwise:

The shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

In an era where colour was the proud domain of the cinema and the mundane black and white pictures were relegated to the pedestrian invention the television, Hitchcock took his television crew and the stock of black and white film and shot what I believe is the penultimate Horror/Thriller of all time. The audacity to brutally slay your leading lady not even midway through the film would surely be enough to make a mark on cinema history, but it was the details in how Alfred Hitchcock, the master that he was, chose to do this which shook the cinema going world. With powerful imagery, intense emotional acting and skillful edits, the master didn't show the audience one tenth of what every cinema goer saw. The implied nudity, graphic violence and brutality that never existed on screen, just in the viewer's minds, provoked the censors to give the film an X rating until they were petitioned to further review it. The psychological and emotional effects on the audiences of the time were unheard of and widespread. Alfred Hitchcock with a great actress, a sound idea and a can of chocolate syrup managed what grindhouse bloodfests, slasher flicks and modern torture porn aspire to achieve and seldom accomplish.

I will never do a Post Mortem on this scene for the sure futility it would be.

Gary Macabre

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