Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was well known for his amazing directing for thriller films. Hitchcock is an English film director and producer born and bought up in Leytonstone. Hitchcock instigated numerous techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939 after being billed as England’s best director accomplishing a successful career in the British cinema.  Hitchcock got a buzz out of making people suffer by keeping his audience anticipated at the edge of their seats after all that was ‘the furthest back he wanted them’.  Despite all the misery Hitchcock puts us through, he still manages a endearing,’Hollywood’ ending.                                                                      

Alfred Hitchcock was one of the greatest directors of all times best known for his thriller movies.

  00f/22/arve/g2011/043 What is Hitchcock first memory of being scared?  Hitchcock’s first memory of being scared happened when he was about five. This occurred from an incident which took place causing him to develop a terrible fear of police officers. Hitchcock’s father sent him to the local police station with a note. The police chief then read the note and locked young Hitchcock in a cell. After releasing him after a few minutes the officer said  “That’s what we do to naughty boys” .  This created a life-long fear of the police in Hitchcock.  Hitchcock referred to  “the sound and solidity of that closing cell door”. as unforgettable. Scary or what?    :O                                                                                                            The door was significant for Hitchcock especially due to the vulnerability of his age as a closing door would signify many things for a child of his age. For example, A closed door symbolizes mystery and intrigue in general. But as a child, it might symbolize a location where killers hide, and spring out of at any moment.

How does Hitchcock create suspense? 

The bomb theory:                                                                                                            This is the theory where Hitchcock explains how suspense is created.

“Four men are sitting at a table playing poker. The scene is rather boring. Suddenly, after 15 minutes, we hear a big bang- it turns out there was a bomb under the table. This is called surprise as it isn’t what we expected would happen. If we watch the same scene again with the important difference that we have seen the bomb being placed under the table and the timer set to 11am, and we can see a watch in the background, the same scene becomes very intense and almost unbearable – we are sitting there hoping the time will fail, the game is interrupted or the hero leaves the table in time, before the blast. This is called suspense.”

So basically, the couple seconds building up to the explosion of the bomb adds to the suspense by building tension and then having the sudden bomb explosion. This is a clever tactic Hitchcock uses in order to excel the levels of suspense as it has the audience kept in suspense for a long period of time creating an even better thriller. False suspense keeps the audience questioning what may happen next because Hitchcock was never afraid to take unexpected turns. Hitchcock creates false suspense in a number of ways. From his movie- Psycho, there are numerous scenes with suspense. Here in this scene Hitchcock creates a tense atmosphere by using dramatic irony. Where the audience are aware of the situation but the characters aren’t. The police officer does not know that Marion Crane is hiding the $40,000. Suspense is created by the police officers emotionless face and his straight forward questions. Furthermore Marion’s hesitancy and uneasy behavior adds to the tension. The Famous shower scene from Psycho  In this scene, Hitchcock creates suspense to it’s finest by using a female character in a shower which indicates vulnerability. The audience then see a blurry figure which is approaching Marion. This immediately creates tension as only the audience are aware of this figure and Marion isn’t. Suspense is also created by not allowing the audience to see the face of the killer and by leaving it blurry creating mystery. The music greatly adds to the suspense as the scene starts off silent and then is introduced to music which becomes louder and more intense as the killer gets closer. There are also reaction parallel shock with the music which also keeps the audience at the edge of their seats which is ‘as far as Hitchcock wanted the audience to be’. psycho

Hitchcock’s famous thriller movies:

  1. Rear Window                                                                   025-rear-window-tm
  2. Psycho                                                                                 psycho1-1
  3. North by Northwest                                                 hitchcock-north-by-northwest-tm (1)
  4. Vertigo                                                                    vertigo-783711-tm                            
  5. Rebecca                                                                  rebecca                                                         
  6. Strangers on the train                                                strangers-2-tm
  7. Notorious                                                                             notorious-1946-tm
  8. Shadow of a Doubt                                                          shadow-4-tm
  9. Dial M for Murder                                                       dial-m-for-murder-tm
  10. The Birds                                                                            the-birds-tm         

I’ve watched the classic and probably the most known Hitchcock movie- ‘Psycho’.

Now,  my initial thoughts of this film is that I personally thought it would not have any effect on me in terms of ‘the thrill’ factor. I felt as though personally it would not be ask scary to what it would have been to people 50 years ago to people who were watching it in the theatres, especially as ‘the shower scene’ has been so inundated into pop culture. And also because I thought the story line would be predictable. ‘Innocent woman gets attacked in the shower and dies. End of thriller story’. But boy was I wrong.  The end of the movie bought the suspense or the technique Hitchcock would refer to ‘the bomb theory’. The special reveal at the end was spin chilling and super scary and certainly bought the thrill factor. Hitchcock used many clever techniques to accomplish all that he wanted to do with this film. For example by having the film in black and white, it created a sense of atmosphere by setting the tone of it being a very creepy movie especially the scene were the female actress is driving to the hotel in the rain which had more of a suspense upon the audience due to the lack of colour. Let’s face it, if Hitchcock was to have the film in colour, it just would not be as chilling.

For me, a thriller film will only bring the element by being unpredictable! I hate clichés. My pet hate in movies. Anyway, I feared Psycho being a Cliché movie but I was glad to find that I was wrong! Now another Hitchcock movie which I am curious to watch is ‘The Birds’ simply because I have no idea of what to expect. I mean birds, we see them flying over us everyday… why on earth would they be scary? But that’s what already brings a sense of suspense. I want to find out. I was so intrigued by the idea of the story that I even searched the trailer which is below.

Although the idea of birds being scary is some what pathetic to an extent. It’s safe to say that this trailer terrified me! And I am very much looking forward to watching it!



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