Psycho. 1960. USA. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenplay by Joseph Stefano, based on the novel by Robert Bloch. With Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh. DCP. 109 min.
As a foundational work in the evolution of contemporary horror, Psycho provides a template for the slashers, terrible places, and gender anxiety that followed. A major studio release by a respected Hollywood director that killed off its leading lady mid-film and cast the male lead as a sexual pervert, it still resonates today. 1960 was also the year that Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom and Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring crossed popular horror and art-house film fare to provide lasting models for the grisly effects of transgressive onscreen psychology that continue to fuel the genre.