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Psycho (2010)

"Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother."

Review by
Faye Coulman
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Review Date: 19 August 2010 My Rating: out of 5


Disc Details
Disc Type: Blu-Ray, R2 - Widescreen
Release: 9 August 2010
Country: United Kingdom
No. of Discs: 1
Certificate: 15

Special Features
- 20-page 'Making of Psycho' booklet
- Psycho Sound
- The Shower Scene
- Feature-length audio commentary with Stephen Rebello
- Vintage newsreel - Storyboards by Saul Bass
- Production Notes
- The Psycho Archives
- Posters And Psycho Ads
- Lobby Cards
- Behind-The-Scenes Photographs
- Theatrical Trailer
- Re-Release Trailers

Despite Blu-ray’s ever-growing popularity, there’s something rather inappropriate about revamping this subtle classic within a format that seems tailor-made for eye-catching blockbusters. With or without such technical wizardry, ‘Psycho’s’ appeal remains firmly lodged in the unseen horrors of the imagination, with a stripped-back repertoire of teasing glimpses and suggestive shadows. So although Hitchcock’s iconic work seems an unlikely addition to the high-definition market, its 2010 re-release adds aesthetically pleasing gloss to an already superb horror movie.

As the opening credits roll, the film’s crisp sound quality becomes immediately apparent, sharpening Bernard Herrmann’s urgent, string-laden score. From its spooky soundtrack to gloomy, rain-sodden scenes, 'Psycho' evokes an aura of dread that is impressively heightened by this high-definition update. Defining details as minute as a bead of sweat, Blu-ray’s razor-sharp lens amplifies the movie’s most dramatic moments, magnifying each nervous tic, smile and grimace. So effective is the visual enhancement that even the killer’s stuffed bird collection seems rife with cold-eyed malevolence. Norman Bates’ twitchy mannerisms, in particular, are loaded with tension, while the lifelessness in Marion Crane’s vacant eyes is nothing short of chilling.

Although the horror genre is currently riddled with cheap, gory thrills, 'Psycho’s' infamous shower scene retains much of its slow-burning, psychological menace. Above all else, its improved sound effects create a vivid update on one of modern cinema’s most remarkable scenes. Bloodcurdling screams and the rasping motions of Bates' knife are among the finest audio highlights presented here.

In spite of a glossy, high-definition makeover, 'Psycho’s' ultimate selling-point lies in a wealth of DVD bonus material. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with a host of influential directors, this highly collectible re-release marks the movie’s 50th anniversary in slick, digitally enhanced style.

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