Psycho Shower scene analysis


Before Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) gets into the shower it’s very quiet with non-diegetic music that slowly builds up to an eerie slow pace music which builds up tension. As soon as the shower curtain is pulled away the high pitched music is played again but a lot louder and faster than before, the music playing is a piercing sound which holds suspense as well as scaring the audience this is also very typical music of a thriller film. Before she is stabbed you hear her screeching scream. Hitchcock uses selective sound with this to produce a scream which scares the audiences and emphasizes Marion’s fear. When ‘psycho’ leaves the music playing over the top becomes less high pitched and slows down which shows that when he leaves the sense of scare and terror leaves with him. Throughout the scene he shower is constantly on in the background. This shows that what she is doing is a part of her everyday life and the killer is coming into her personal life and ending it in her own home. The music at the end slowly dies down and I think Hitchcock used the music to reflect that her life is doing the same and slowly ending.

Camera angles:

A long shot is firstly used as she is walking over to the bathroom which shows her setting and that she is in her home which is usually related to being someone’s ‘safe place’. Hitchcock used ‘Voyeurism’ to engage his audience in the shower scene. He did this by filming the women in the shower naked but the camera angles just cuts off her breasts which engages the viewer in a sexual scene. When the silhouette of the killer appears from behind the curtain it zoom sin so the audience focuses on him. As Marion screams the camera zooms onto her mouth which emphasizes her screaming and makes the audience feels how scared she is. Every time the killer goes to stab her camera very quickly shifts to her so it makes you be aware of the power he has over her. When the killer leaves there is a close up shot on her hand as she slowly falls, which shows the audience her pain.

Mise en scene:

The clothing and props used are typical of a thriller film and the film is already in black and white which is typical of a 1960s film. There is no talking in this scene which emphasizes the women’s scream when she is killed. When the silhouette appears behind her she has her back to him. This could show that Hitchcock didn’t want the women to see the killer before he killed her but only the audience knows he’s there so it adds suspense. After the killer leaves, Marion falls down the wall for a more dramatic effect.


When Marion is struggling there is a lot of fast pace editing as the women tries to fight of the killer. The editing always moves very quickly from the killer to Marion this keeps the audience feeling tense and rushed.


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