Psycho Movie Analysis

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Introduction A psychopath, according to Robert Kolker, is a person whose persistent antisocial behavior indicates signs of impaired empathy and remorse. Psychopathy or sociopaths is an antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) that may begin manifesting in childhood and continue into adulthood (Kolker 15). Common signs that a person may be suffering from ASPD include telling inconsistent lies, acting impulsively, random violence and destruction, or being sadistic and manipulative. In most films, psychopathic characters are depicted as aggressive, sexually depraved, violent, destructive, unsympathetic and empathetic, emotionally unstable and bizarre mannerisms such as giggling or laughing even after committing a brutal murder (Genter 134). Many…show more content…
In my essay, I researched the different behaviors that define psychopath, as defined by the scholar who defined psychopathy. Next I selected those characteristics of psychopaths that were most relevant in the movie Psycho. And finally, I analyzed how those characteristics reappeared in the following horror movies. Background Information The film Psycho is a 1960 American horror film based on Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel by the same name. Alfred Hitchcock following his previous success in film and television directed the film (Greven 168). The film was written by Joseph Stefano and stars Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, Vera Miles as Lila Crane and John Gavin as Sam Loomis. Initially, the movie received mixed reviews from the viewers but still landed four Academy Award nominations including Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Kolker 56). It has been ranked as one of the greatest movies of all times and continues to influence several movies includes the television series Bates Motel, which started airing in 2013. Before this film, the director already has a strong reputation as the master of suspense…show more content…
In fact, the report from the psychiatrist indicated that Norman Bates had succumbed to the ‘mother’ personality in him and could not gain his own identity. Even while sitting in the cell, it was interesting to see how the ‘mother’ turned against Norman and began blaming him for all the crimes he had committed (Kolker 149). According to the ‘mother’, he was incapable of hurting even a fly. At the end, it shows that Norman Bates was suffering from what looked like a combination of delusion and psychopathy. l How Psycho Influenced the Depiction of Psychopathic Characters By introducing graphic violence, the film Psycho set examples for the appear of future psychopathic characters as aggressive. A psychopath, as depicted in the character of Norman Bates is not born violent but is shaped by various environmental factors including domestic violence (Greven 168). For example, Norman Bates would have grown into a responsible young man if his mother did not brainwash his mind at a young age. While he was young, his

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