Classic Horror: Freaks, Fiends, and Scream Queens

Classic Horror: Freaks, Fiends, and Scream Queens

Marion Crane in Psycho:
Janet Leigh plays Marion Crane, in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960).
In my opinion: In a lot of horror films, I’ve found that if you’re committing sinful acts, you’re fate is sealed. For example, Jason Voorhees in “Friday the 13th”, he kills the teens that are having sex, right off the bat. In horror, the sinner pays the ultimate price. Marion Crane’s sins begin in the first scenes of the movie. She’s having premarital sex with her boyfriend/fiancée. Sure, she wants to get married but, money is a problem. As she goes to her secretarial job, she’s enticed by the thousands of dollars being waved (quite, literally), in her face. Almost, like an invitation to theft and fate. Marion succumbs to her desires, which makes her a thief. If Marion had never taken the money, she wouldn’t have needed to escape and find herself at “The Bates Motel”, or in the care of Norman Bates. We all agree the villain is Norman Bates and Marion is the victim. Whatever reasoning or regret she had for the theft of $40,000, the fact remains she stole..and like I said, sinful acts are usually punished in horror film. There’s plenty of innocent victim, killer movies. I’m not particularly drawn, to those. I feel there is more to the story,when we have a background on our victims. That way we are more attached to them. I don’t know about you guys, but I was rooting for Marion to get away with the money! When she’s killed, it’s a climatic point. “Psycho” has quite a few, climaxes, Marion’s murder, Marion’s sister almost being killed, and Norman’s secret, revealed. Even in modern horror, like the “Saw” movies (and the name “Saw” has double meaning) the victims have committed some kind of unholy act, even if it’s small and doesn’t seem worthy of the death penalty. Our murderers exact their own form of justice. In Norman Bates’s case, he doesn’t even know Marion is on the lam, with $40,000. He kills as his “mother” because of his own, unholy thoughts. Marion paid for her sins, in a very heinous way but, we must remember…our killers in these classic horror films are…PSYCHO!


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