A while back I happened upon a thirty day movie challenge online. While this would have been perfect for June, seeing as it has thirty days, I’ve chosen to write a little each day about some of my all time favorite films in July. I’ve even included a spot at the end so I can talk about a random film of my choice to extend it and make this a thirty-one day challenge instead.
My desire to write about my favorite movies and share this with the world is because movies bring us together. It’s an art form that brings out passion in the majority of people. For instance I have a cousin who will argue with people that Grease 2 is not a guilty pleasure film but an amazing film. I personally have to agree with Brian Herzlinger, from My Date With Drew (2004), and Drew Barrymore’s thought process that there are people who love Grease 2 and those who do not. No argument needed.
The same can of course be said about the majority of cinema, but wee are all willing to argue about certain films all the same. And that can especially be said about our all time favorite film. And that is what the first day of this challenge calls for. My favorite film.
Day 1: Your favorite movie – Psycho
Not long ago I remember reading Psycho on someone’s list of films that were horrible. I will be honest and say that reading such made me click off their list. That’s how much I love this movie. The reason they gave for feeling that the original was not as great as our memories make us believe is that the shot-for-shot remake was so poorly received. This lead to the assumption that maybe the original was not as good as we all seem to remember the film by default.
Let me start by saying I was beyond excited when the remake of Psycho arrived in theaters. I actively told all my friends at the time that we needed to go see the remake because the original was such a classic. I remember wanting to fall asleep to the in color shot-for-shot remake. The remake failing has nothing to do with the original. I realize how crazy that might sound, but I say this in regard to acting and knowledge. And while the actors in the remake of Psycho are great in other roles, they do not emulate Norman Bates or Janet Leigh.
The greatness of Psycho is that first viewing. The first time we realize that mother isn’t alive is mind blowing. I envy those who were able to view that reveal for the first time in 1960. This of course also makes me envy the fact that they did not have to avoid the internet like the plague to avoid that spoiler at the end. We would inevitably see the ending everywhere today even if there were a message put up outside theaters not to share the ending with others per Hitchcock’s request once upon a time.
My bias grew the night I was able to go see the original Psycho in theaters. The crowd was amazing and despite the fact we all knew what was coming up, there were instances we were still able to share for the first time. Small details that you cannot view on a small screen or even a big screen TV in your home. Psycho is one of those films that proves nothing is better than going to theater to see a movie. I remember laughing at parts I never laughed at in my home. And seeing that ending where Norman transforms into mother at the police station was nothing short of spectacular. No one will ever be able to pull off the innocence of the performance Anthony Perkins gave. It’s his stature. It’s his delivery. Honestly, it’s everything you don’t get with the remake.
I will forever love Psycho and I thank my Uncle Billy for that completely. I’m so glad he was a Hitchcock fan because it introduced me to a world of terror that does not have to include gore. He introduced me to a world that makes one want to analyze and wonder how we did not see that ending coming. By showing me Hitchcock films at such a young age my uncle made me appreciate the beauty of psychological horror at its finest. He made me appreciate the lack of presence in the killer. He made me appreciate a good secret that we as an audience knows, but the characters on the screen have not quite pieced together.
My uncle was able to open up a world to me that makes me miss him terribly when I see a good psychological thriller. The best part of him sharing his knowledge with me though is how no matter how many times I watch Psycho I still enjoy the feature to this day. The film always put a smile on my face and leave me with a satisfaction that no other film can. There’s something about Psycho that I will never be able to put into words and for a woman with strong opinions and lots of words I’m oddly okay with that.