[[folder: Hitchcock's film]]
* AdaptationDisplacement: Who remembers the novel the film was based on?
* AwardSnub: Creator/AlfredHitchcock is the most egregious example (although for ''Psycho,'' he was nominated for Best Director, but did not win), but many are utterly shocked that Creator/AnthonyPerkins was never nominated for his performance as Norman Bates. In 2009, Entertainment Weekly considered that snub to be the second worst Oscar snub of all time. Hitchcock himself expressed to Perkins how ashamed he was because Perkins was not nominated. Also, Bernard Hermann's score wasn't nominated either.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** Composed, once again, by Music/BernardHerrmann.
** The famous repeated minor-9th violin chords during the shower scene were so monstrously effective, they were used again by later generations of horror movie directors in their own films. They even have [[PsychoStrings their own trope page]].
** It's noted on the [[{{Trivia/Psycho}} Trivia]] page that Hitchcock originally considered doing the scene without the music. If there was ANY way to make that scene scarier, '''THAT''' would have been it, since it would have made it come even ''more'' out of nowhere than it already did. In fact, this could be applied to a LOT of horror films to come along since ''Psycho''.
* DullSurprise: Sam Loomis. In a film full of memorable performances, he comes off like a complete stiff (no pun intended).
* EndingFatigue: Norman's psychosis is explained down to the last detail after the story is over. Roger Ebert famously called this scene the one thing keeping the film from being perfect.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop:
** The film teaches audience to be wary of strangers. Just because someone looks or seems like a normal person doesn't mean that you should immediately trust them. Otherwise, you could end up dead or in serious harm if you misjudge someone mysterious. As Marion Crane found out the hard way.
** Most shockingly, at least on early release, the film emphasizes that a SerialKiller can reside in and inhabit any community, even one that is potentially normal, and unassuming. The sheriff's shock at the end about Norman Bates' true nature, the fact that he had killed others before Marion and most people didn't notice it, only highlights the general paranoia that still makes the film very scary.
** Marion's fate could also be seen as an ''extreme'' application of "crime does not pay". She never would have ended up where she did if she hadn't embezzled the money from Mr. Cassidy in the first place.
* GeniusBonus: All the paintings in the parlor, but most specifically the painting that Norman takes off the wall in order to spy on Marion, are versions of ''Susannah and the Elders,'' a biblical story about two lecherous voyeurs who try to take advantage of an unsuspecting young woman while she's bathing. Also, in part with the [[AnimalMotifs bird motifs]], Norman accidentally knocks off one of the pictures of birds in Marion's room, which confirms him as the murderer because he "offed the bird" - which, in British slang, is killing a young woman.
* GenreTurningPoint: In addition to marking, for some, the end of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood, ''Psycho'' is heralded by many critics as more or less codifying and defining the new mainstream of American cinema. Instead of idealized stars, you had actors playing normal people, at least relative to the mainstream of the time. More importantly it blurred the line between high and low art, with crude pulp material (dealing with illicit sex, robbery and a depraved SerialKiller) becoming as profitable, if not more so than the EpicMovie, TheWestern, TheMusical and other prestige films which Hollywood, before and after ''Psycho'', still saw as their major bread-and-butter, but by the end of TheSixties had become unfashionable and unpopular.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** ''Psycho'' was released 6 years after Hitchcock's ''Film/RearWindow,'' where the character of Stella questions where Thorwald, the suspected murderer, would've killed his wife in their apartment. "Of course, ''the bathtub''! It's the only place he could've washed the blood!"
** Marion Crane's well-known death in the shower scene becomes this when in ''Series/BatesMotel'' she ironically gets SparedByTheAdaptation [[spoiler: and her boyfriend Sam Loomis gets killed instead.]]
* ItWasHisSled: At this late date, it's hard to find anybody who isn't familiar with the original movie's plot twists, whether they've actually seen it or not, mostly because Norman Bates has become one of the most iconic characters not only in film history but in the 20th Century.
* MemeticMutation: The PsychoStrings are the most famous example, but two of Norman's lines are fairly common {{Shout Out}}s in other genre pieces:
--> We all go a little mad sometimes.
--> Well, a boy's best friend is his mother.
* MyRealDaddy:
** One of the most notorious controversies about the film is the claim that Saul Bass made in the end of TheSixties that ''he'' and not Hitchcock directed the famous "shower scene". In addition to designing the title sequence of the film, Bass has a credit for "Pictorial Consultant" and in that capacity designed storyboards for both the shower scene and the Arbogast Murder scene.
** The reason for this controversy is Hitchcock's fault. During production, he and Bass had a falling out. And then in his famous interviews with Creator/FrancoisTruffaut, Hitchcock deprecated Bass when Truffaut brought up the Pictorial Consultant credit, stating that Bass designed storyboards for the Arbogast murder which Hitchcock didn't use [[SelfServingMemory and completely neglected Bass' contribution to the shower scene]]. Bass [[BerserkButton was naturally upset at what he saw as a deliberate lie of omission]].
** Later authors having consulted the storyboards note that Bass more or less did design the shower scene, the silhouette of the mother behind the curtains, the knife through the curtains and even details like the circular shower-head which rhymes with the Iris of Marion and then the drainage hole of the tub (which was similar to the spiral of ''Vertigo''). The sequence was also quite unusual since Hitchcock rarely used such a montage of shots in his films. In either case, Hitchcock did direct the scene since he was on set and he more or less did delegate Bass to take on a bigger role than before[[note]](properly managing your ProductionPosse is closer to what directors do than outright make stuff up)[[/note]] but the shower sequence is as much Bass' as it is Hitchcock's even if the former did not as he tried to claim "direct it".
* {{Narm}}:
** "Mother, oh God, Mother...the blood! The blood!" Mostly because this is the only piece of dialogue in a lengthy segment with no dialogue at all and thus seem out of place.
** The very last scene of the first film where Norman is sitting in the jail while a very high-pitched voice-over of the "Mother" personality plays. Not helping matters is the fact that Norman's SlasherSmile might to some people come off as {{Corpsing}}, inciting the view to laugh along with him.
** The murder of the private investigator. Seriously, he gets slashed in the face with a kitchen knife, and stumbles down an entire flight of stairs ''backward'' before falling down? Those are some very neat balancing skills for a murder victim.
** The ending scene in the fruit cellar. While Lila's screaming would have brought anyone down to the fruit cellar, the fact that when Norman's alternate personality realized she was in the house that he ''went up to his mother's room to dress up as her'' instead of having a quick look around and then going down to the fruit cellar kind of detracts from the seriousness. Not ''much'', but some.
* NarmCharm:
** Not everyone dislikes the psychiatrist's scene. Mostly because the actor is deliberately over-the-top, it relieves some of the tension and that there was no other way to dispatch so much exposition economically given the constraints and structure of the film.
*** There's a bit of FridgeBrilliance on Hitchcock's part--while the audience may have figured out everything, everyone in the room is clueless, so of course, ''they'' need the explanation, even if most of the viewers don't.
** The PsychoStrings have been parodied a lot, so hearing them is bound to make some viewers laugh. But that doesn't stop them from being effective.
* OutOfTheGhetto: For low-budget horror and slasher films. Hitchcock, himself a PigeonHoledDirector, was fascinated by William Castle's cheap horror productions and was curious to see if he could make a movie of that kind and raise it out of its ghetto. Usually associated with an elegant type of thriller (featuring high production values and A-list stars). He made ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' cheaply with little known actors and created perhaps the most commercially successful horror movie ever made, one of cinema's most iconic villains and launched the slasher genre, and also scored one of the few Best Director nominations he ever recieved. Thanks to the film's low-budget, great success and Hitchcock getting a bigger share of the profits, its a movie with a very high profit margin and it was the first time a horror movie became as much of a box-office sensation as an EpicMovie, TheWestern and TheMusical.
* ParanoiaFuel: Practically invented the fear of someone about to kill you while you're showering, just waiting outside the curtain.
* RewatchBonus: After you know the ending (assuming PopculturalOsmosis hasn't affected you too much), you'll watch it again and kick yourself for failing to notice all of the {{Foreshadowing}}.
* TheScrappy: The psychiatrist is considered one for his long-winded scene that comes at the end of the film, which states information that should for the most part be obvious by the end. He is also happened to be an UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom in the sequel ''Psycho II'', due to his diagnosis of Norman being permanently insane; this provokes Lila (who was present at the psychiatrist's hearing) to [[WellIntentionedExtremist staunchly]] believe Norman will always be crazy and attempts to [[spoiler: drive him insane again to get him recommitted]] when he is released and [[spoiler: initially]] indeed cured of his insanity.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: The Shower Scene is an infamous example. If the movie was put in theaters today, most, if not all, people in the audience would probably watch on with indifference to the scene, and possibly complain over the bad special effects. However, it's important to take into account that the movie was released in the early ''60's''. At the time, the directors were not allowed to show explicit violence, nudity or a [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking toilet flushing.]] (Hitchcock got that last part through, though.) Through fast-cut editing, timing, and effect, Hitchcock made it happen as explicit as the film industry would allow, which is why it was a great shock and terror to the people back then; you had not even expected someone to make a scene work that way. The world was left in a state of awe and terror for a long time after its premiere. Adding to the shock factor was that Marion had been set up as the protagonist, and was played by the best known actor in the cast. So to see the movie subvert PlotArmour was also quite shocking. Wes Craven would repeat this later with Drew Barrymore in ''{{Film/Scream 1996}}''.
* SignatureScene: The Shower Scene, where Marion Crane gets stabbed to death by Norman Bates.
* ToughActToFollow:
** ''Psycho'' is looked at as Hitch's peak of cultural appeal and influence. None of his films were as commercially successful or culturally impactful. ''Film/TheBirds'' is still considered a classic and a pioneer in special effects and sound design, but it was not as big of a sensation as ''Psycho'' and while ''Film/{{Marnie}}'' is now considered his final masterpiece, it was critically disliked and commercially unsuccessful.
** ''Psycho'' is also a final hurrah for Hitchcock's ProductionPosse in general. It was the last film Saul Bass designed titles for, on account of a personal and professional falling out. It was Hitchcock's final film for Paramount Studios (where he had made all his great films in TheFifties). In the following years, his longtime editor and cinematographer George Tomasssini and Robert Burks respectively would pass away, and Hitchcock would have another falling out with Music/BernardHerrmann. So it was in a real sense an EndOfAnAge for Hitchcock.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Not that he deserved to be stabbed to death, but what the hell was Arbogast ''thinking'' returning to a place where it was made quite clear that he wasn't welcome and going into the Bates house uninvited and unannounced to Snoop around? Especially considering that he was suspicious.
* ValuesResonance: It's pretty cool to see this film, released in what was basically the Dark Ages as far as views of non-heterosexuals were concerned, go a bit out of its way to point out that Norman should ''not'' be considered a transvestite, or have his evil actions ascribed to such an identity.
* TheWoobie: Marion Crane made a terrible impulsive mistake, came to regret it and was going to make amends but [[spoiler:ended up being murdered]].
** Norman. He's so ''epically'' messed up. His father dies when he is 5 (it's never made clear how this happened). After this, his mother deliberately isolates and dominates him, making him completely dependent on her. She verbally abuses him, (if the way his alternate personality speaks is any reflection of how she was in life is to be believed, and there's no reason why it wouldn't be) and fills his head with the belief that all women (besides her) are evil whores. Then she shows up with a man when Norman is 12. At this point, he's only been with and known his mother almost all his life, no other person, so he killed them out of jealous desperation. The woman who was responsible for his abusive childhood now ''lives inside his head'', berating, watching, punishing - no peace, nowhere to hide. Norman's trap is his own mind, and he can't escape. Hitchcock deliberately cast Creator/AnthonyPerkins in the role to emphasise Norman's woobie quality.

[[folder: Van Sant's Film]]
* AuthorsSavingThrow: The psychiatrist's speech was shortened compared to the 1960 original to make it less obvious.
* AwesomeMusic: Creator/DannyElfman's remaster of the original music.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** There were random, near-subliminal video clips (storm clouds, a sheep in a road, a woman in bondage gear) which pop up during the two murder scenes.
** Norman Bates masturbating.
* HeReallyCanAct: Creator/WilliamHMacy was pretty much the only actor to make his performance faithful.
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: A common criticism to the remake.
* SpecialEffectFailure: Not only is Arbogast's death scene recreated with even ''worse'' back-projection effects than the original film had employed nearly four decades earlier, but they also add in CGI wounds on William H. Macy's face, which look more like they're floating just above his face instead of actually being on it.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: It is not exactly a word-for-word remake. It is also in full color.
* WereStillRelevantDammit: The remake changes the film in a 1990s setting with a walkman involved in one scene, the $40,000 to $400,000, and aspic to jello..
* WTHCastingAgency: Creator/VinceVaughn as Norman Bates. Also, taking the Janet Leigh part of the sexy, tempting woman who awakens "Mother" - bony, spiky-haired Anne Heche. Creator/RogerEbert went so far to say that Creator/WilliamHMacy was the only actor who was appropriately cast.

[[folder: Sequels]]
* {{Sequelitis}}
** This occurred with a different sequel to the original novel, and another plot was bandied about elsewhere: with Norman being released, found to be cured, back into the general populace. [[spoiler: Except it was the 70s, when he went away in the early 60s. The eponymous "psycho" would have been the Anvilicious world around him.]]