Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece about lonely, disturbed motelier Norman Bates and his unhealthy mother fixation continues to shock after 50 years. Shot on a shoestring against studio wishes, it would go on to become his most successful film and leave a lasting impression on film history. Many of its images are among the most famous in cinema, and its notorious shower scene remains one of the most parodied.
Its various innovations include the pivotal switching of audience identification figures, and its adherence to the principles of psychoanalysis, leading to the emergence of a slew of psycho-thrillers and the more disreputable ‘slasher’ genre. But regardless of its technical brilliance and lasting influence, it’s the immediacy of Psycho as a visceral experience that ensures it continued classic status.