Alfred Hitchcock was and still is a master of cinema. He gave us such films as Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds, Vertigo and Rope. He was an acclaimed genius behind the camera and often sought to bring our common occurrences and routines to light in nothing less than an alarming manner. From exposing your most dreaded phobias to making you question the safety of your everyday lifestyle, Hitchcock truly knew how best to get into our heads and mess with us. But more importantly, he knew the secret to turning our own minds against us. Here are 4 common and seemingly harmless things that Hitchcock forced us to question.
In Psycho, what appears to be a harmless motel is actually the breeding ground for murderous mayhem and double personalities. Janet Leigh's character decides to take a refreshing shower, unaware that this very act will mean her gruesome death. At the time of the film's release, women everywhere were challenged to once again take a step into the shower and close the curtain. With the water running, their imaginations would cause immense fear as to what could be behind the curtain.
In Rear Window, photographer L.B. Jefferies is confined to a wheelchair after sustaining a broken leg. While recovering, he uses binoculars to spy on his neighbors as a way of entertainment. His neighbors are simple and harmless people. Neighbor Lars Thorwald however, comes off a bit suspicious. Thorwald has a nagging and needy wife. One evening whilst Jefferies is sleeping, he is partially awakened by a woman yelling out "Don't!" Jefferies dozes back to sleep. When he awakens, he sees Thorwald leaving his apartment many times with a briefcase. The wife is nowhere to be found. Jefferies comes to a startling conclusion.
If you've never seen the film, I won't be the one to spoil it for you. Just know that it makes you question what kinds of activities your own neighbors are engaging in. Who are they really and what are they hiding? Rest assured that if you watch Rear Window, you'll be on the lookout for murders in your own residence and paranoia will play with your mind.
Psycho may not be classified as a horror, but instead more of a thriller. However the murder of detective Arbogast is truly horrifying. The scene works so well due to the high angle. We see the killer coming long before the soon to be victim. The fact that we're powerless to warn Arbogast makes the tension heightened. Walking up a flight of stairs will never be the same for me. Who knows what waits at the top. Having the low ground doesn't help my anxiety any.
The Birds obviously presents a very twisted and disturbing possibility: birds are everywhere and they could be our worst nightmare. We've all seen rows of birds on telephone lines, but we never acknowledged that we live in peace with them. One may not present a threat, but hundreds or thousands working together would be a major catastrophe. Have fun walking down the street glancing at the very creatures who might be pecking your eyes out the following day for no known reason.
While showers are a big part of sanitary, they could be the perfect killing ground. We live among our neighbors peacefully, but what if one of them isn't so peaceful? Some of you might live or sleep on the second floor, and while stairs are the entrance to your much awaited comfort, they might also be the path to death. Birds are part of our environment, but what if they aren't so harmless after all? In the eyes of Alfred Hitchcock, we're all puppets, and he just pulled the strings that make us tense.