Probably, the most terrific thriller made. A film that terrifies even 50 years after it's made.
To pigeonhole this as a thriller would be wrong as per me. It has a murder mystery, a psychological thriller, a huge amount of drama, and even a family backdrop. With all such elements, it would be wrong if I were to categorize this as merely a thriller. Yes, it is filled with thrills and for the 110 minutes of running time, there is hardly any dull moment.
I have seen this movie, a number of times before and each time it had a terrific impact. Also, I have always found something new, maybe a new frame, new shot or a new background sound. The discovery does not seem to stop. This I attribute to the many elements that are involved in this film.
From placing the camera, composing the shot, revealing the right emotion and making the audiences wait till the shocking aspect is revealed, Hitchcock is at his best in this film. This is indeed one of the more simpler stories he dealt. Yet, he made it so impactful that it continues to surprise audiences even today. Thanks to the music by Bernard Hermann, whose contribution to the film is very important. I cannot imagine this film without the music and I believe that it's because of the music, that the resonance was acquired.
If it's the shower scene that is most talked about in this film, I believe there are couple or more scenes that are under rated yet very impactful. Now, I do not want to reveal those and give away some details. I can simply say, I was terrified by the climax shot where the mother is shown, more than anything else.
The cast is perfect equally, Anthony Perkins does a wonderful job as Norman Bates. He is cold blooded and yet looks so deceptively humane as an extremely caring human. This film and "The Trial" are perhaps the most important films in his career.
It is the first psychological thriller of it's kind as I read in various other sites and perhaps it is also the most violent films made. Though the violence comes for less than 10 minutes, it haunts so brutally, as if it was there all through the film.
It's a definite 5/5 for one of the finest films of all time by one of the greatest directors.