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.
    • This happens in the novel as well, and unlike the film, the sequel doesnt undo it. Norman never gets better, his personality is essentially killed off, and Mother becomes the sole personality until their death after escaping from the asylum decades later.
    • Norman's Slasher Smile. Just think about that the next time you take a shower.
  • The Reveal.
    • Not just the Reveal of Mrs Bates, but also Norman barging into the basement, wearing his mothers clothes and screaming bloody murder at the top of his lungs while vielding a knife.
  • 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.
  • Lila's slow transition into a villain herself is slightly unsettling. She abuses her daughter every time they interact, showing that she's now Not So Different from Norma Bates.
  • When Norman returns to his house in Psycho II, we're treated to a flashback of his mother's death. We never actually see his mother, but we do see her hand fall to the ground after being poisoned by her son.
  • In Psycho II, two teenagers look for a spot to make out at. They decide to do it under the basement of Norman's house. However, it's also in this scene that we discover Norman isn't the killer in this film because he's locked himself up in the attic by mistake. But, a strange woman with a knife is walking under the basement chasing the two teens. The girl gets away, but she helplessly watches the killer slaughter her boyfriend after he fails to escape the house.
  • In Psycho II, Norman suffers a heavy Sanity Slippage while trying to live a normal life. However, he can't stop seeing someone harassing him by dressing up like his mother. Paranoia Fuel doesn't even begin to describe this.
    • It turns out that somebody really is following Norman around. When Mary stays over to comfort Norman by providing company, she notices a peephole in the bathroom and catches a glimpse of something moving in his mother's old room. She calls out for Norman, but it turns out he's been downstairs the whole time making tea. Mary enters into his mother's old room to see the peephole from the other side and sees the Death Glare of an intruder now in the bathroom.
    • Also the Fridge Horror, when you realize that Norma drilled that peephole in her room herself to watch her son bathe.
  • When Norman needs proof that his mother is truly out of his life for good, he and his psychiatrist dig up Norma Bates' old grave. Cue Norma making a cameo as a festering corpse.
  • The death of Lila Loomis in Psycho II. She breaks into Norman's basement in the middle of the day, when suddenly Mother follows her down, not Norman, an actual female killer. She murders Lila by shoving her kitchen knife through her mouth and out the back of her head. Her body is later seen falling from behind a coal pile, now hideously butchered.
  • Norman killing Mrs. Spool. At first it seems like they're sharing a normal conversation together. After he asks if she would like a sandwich, he suddenly strikes her on the head with a shovel. We then see her body twitch in pain as she slowly dies while Norman just watches in awe.
  • 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.
  • Unlike the novel, where Norman is a slightly off-putting, slovenly middle aged man, similar to Ed Gein who inspired his creation, the movie Norman is a handsome boy-next-door type, who you wouldnt suspect of being a psychopath. Sound familiar?
  • It's far from a classic, but Psycho III has a chilling effect whenever Norman slips into "Mother mode"...you cannot see his face. All you see are shadows. It's not until Norman finally snaps out of it that you see his normal face.
  • Norman's sudden mood swings can be downright terrifying. Special mention goes to his "We all go a little mad sometimes." line, where he says the line in a desperate and frustrated tone, before immediately switching to his affable and smiling self.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/Psycho