Hitchcock: That Bloody Shower and Its Violent Offspring





Toward the end of his thought-provoking book “The Moment of Psycho,” the film historian David Thomson gives us a long list of movies made possible or informed by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic “Psycho” — a list that includes not just Brian De Palma homages to Hitchcock like “Dressed to Kill” and slasher films like “Halloween” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and their innumerable spawn, but also some less obvious choices:

¶The continuing Bond franchise, which, Mr. Thomson notes, cashes in on the “tongue-in-cheek attitudes toward sex and violence” pioneered by Hitch.

¶“Bonnie and Clyde,” which, like “Psycho,” left audiences alarmed at their capacity to enjoy violence in the darkness of a movie theater.

¶“Jaws,” which, like Hitchcock’s films, used artfully cut sequences and carefully paced scenes to manipulate audiences and amp up their feelings of fear....

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