Case study: Psycho

Psycho (US 1960) is one of the best-known films ever made, re-released in a restored version in 2010, and with a strange colour version made in 1998, using almost identical music and script. Its resonances echo across many films, often via the use of fragments of its music from 'the shower scene'. It was originally explored as a case study for the first edition, then updated for the fourth in 2006.

The film is a good test bed for the often tricky theories of narrative within media studies, as well as the specifics of exactly what makes a 'thriller' thrilling. Both of these are used to edge into the question of how different genres (such as thrillers and horror films) use different kinds of storytelling and subject area. But additionally the film's rich combinations of visual imagery and sound (especially Bernard Herrmann's music) mean it lends itself well to close textual work, as here.

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