How Does Hitchcock Create Suspense

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‘Psycho’ is a 1960 Slasher-Horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, ‘The Master of Suspense’. The film focuses on Marion Crane, a young secretary who, after stealing $40,000 from her employer, comes across a secluded motel and its disturbed owner, Norman Bates. Midway through the film, Marion is murdered by Bates, leaving her boyfriend and sister to solve the riddle that is Norman Bates. Hitchcock uses several techniques to create a tense atmosphere full of suspense for the audience such as lighting, camera angles and sound. He uses these techniques throughout the film particularly in the infamous ‘Shower Scene’. Hitchcock builds suspense towards the ‘Shower Scene’ with the sequence that first introduces Marion and Norman, ‘The Parlour Scene’. The use of lighting shows diversity between the two characters. Bright, soft light is used on Marion to create sympathy and show her as defenceless and captivating. On Norman, however, the opposite is true. Dark, hard lighting is used to create…show more content…
The setting of the scene is in a brightly lit bathroom, a place in which you would normally feel safe in. This is used to create a fake sense of security for the audience and to cause fear at an unexpected moment. The sound of the shower is also used to create this fake environment. When Norman enters the scene, the technique of lighting is used to just create just a shadow of the killer to build suspense, while keeping the identity of Norman secret, with the audience only seeing a silhouette. When Marion discovers the killer, she lets out a piercing scream, which compares to a birds cry and the audience can hear the knife piercing into her flesh. This is heard for the audience to confirm that Marion would not be able to survive. The high pitched string music mimics the motion of the knife and the screams to create tension, terror and

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