Nightmare Fuel: Psycho

  • The shower scene (pictured to the right, as you may have guessed) stuck with a whole generation of moviegoers.
    • The teaser trailer isn't very remarkable on the surface. Alfred Hitchcock himself gives a tour of the movie set while also semi-spoiling all the twists and scary moments of the film while whimsical music plays in the background. However at the end, Hitchcock goes to the bathroom, where the shower scene was filmed. He decides to peek behind the shower curtain, and we're greeted with a shot of Marion Crane making a blood-curdling scream as the movie title appears and the Psycho Strings play. This, in itself, isn't very much considering how famous the movie is today. But imagine being a movie-goer at the theater when this trailer started playing. With the way it was presented up until the very end, you will inevitably get Jump Scare'd.
      • In a way, the trailer itself. Oh yeah, it seems silly and modest at first, but take a proverbial closer look...first off, we have the calm, comfortable monotone Hitchcock uses to describe all the (literally) gory details of the murders as he gives us a guided tour of the Bates Motel. Second off, we have Nothing Is Scarier invoked to the Nth degree. At one point, he mentions that Mrs. Bates' clothes are still in her closet, looks into said closet and sees...something that we don't see. Whatever he's seeing, be it ugly clothes or a dead body, it seems to disturb him a little. And lastly? The fact that he can talk about all this gory, bloody stuff...and yet, the motivation of the murder is so gruesome that he just can't bring himself to talk about it. It's at that point that you realize that you have to see this movie in order to figure out just what the Master of Suspense is so speechless about!
    • One of the most disturbing things about that scene was the very sexualized way in which it was handled. The fact that Norman just watched Marion undress, the close-up on her stomach, her heavy breathing right before she died... Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • As well as the distinctly phallic silhouette of the knife, the ejaculatory spurts of blood. It's classic Hitchcock symbolism.
    • Janet Leigh, after watching the shower sequence, never took another shower for the rest of her life.
    • It's not watching the shower scene itself that is uncomfortable, it's the seed you have planted your mind the next time you take a shower alone, and how vulnerable you feel. The whole tiny box / nowhere to run thing doesn't help, either. The noise of the shower and the opaque curtain, allowing just anybody to sneak in, if they're careful enough... it's Nightmare and Paranoia Fuel all in one!
  • Vera's slow walk to the entrance of the motel. Nothing Is Scarier indeed.
  • The very ending, with Mrs. Bates having completely taken over Norman, and him sitting there in the police station with the blanket. The voice over: "They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...'" Combine that with the Kubrick Stare and other matching facial expressions Norman has in that scene, and you've got some really creepy stuff. Just before fading the scene the dead mother's face is superimposed over Norman's. It's hard to see, but really adds to the creepiness.
  • The Reveal.
  • The second murder. Especially since this one wasn't subject to Popcultural Osmosis, so you probably never expect it coming.
  • The Shot for Shot Remake's Logo Joke where the drop of water in the "Imagine Entertainment" logo is replaced with a drop of blood. As if the ominous nature of the logo wasn't creepy already.
  • Norman stuffing the body of Mrs. Spool (and each time her body appears on screen) in Psycho III.
  • Psycho IV. Living with Norma Bates is itself a terror.
    • His first victim was as a teenager, some young girl who was attracted to his mysterious, nervous chap. She learns the hard way why he is so mysterious.