directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Sometimes the difference between a horror film and a thriller is the difference between a gun and a knife. Alfred Hitchcock’s landmark 1960 film skates the edge of the two genres, certainly high enough on violence and mystery to work in the more earthbound genre, but its status as a horror film is unquestionable by the time it reaches its chilling final shot. Psycho is ultimately about the hidden terror, from an otherwise trustworthy companion or even buried within oneself. Hitchcock removed the most basic assumptions of safety so deftly that he’s kept audiences returning, decade after decade, to scream their way down the drain of sanity. Any film that made people wary of their own bathroom has innumerable terrors lurking within, but Psycho’s are so boundlessly present, poking and prodding you until it’s ultimately living under your skin.