Does Psycho Still Hold Up For Modern Audiences?

Psycho is one of the most classic films ever made and rightly so the film manages to be much more than just an average slasher with memorable dialogue and terrific acting however in this post I am going to be discussing whether or not the film still appeals to the average movie-goers of today.


To truly answer this question I feel like first we have to decide what your average movie-goer is like nowadays. Personally I believe this to be someone who will go and see whatever new major film is in the cinema as long as they have seen some trailer or know an actor who stars in the film. They also probably have a subscription to Netflix (or one of the other major subscription services) although Netflix does seem to be the major one and they will probably use it to watch movies which they missed out on seeing at the cinema and not really explore films they don’t know too much about. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with being this type of person, up until recently this is what I was like, I did not venture out of my way to see a movie that I had not really seen any promotional material for so I know how this type of person acts. If you had asked me a year or two ago if I wanted to sit down and watch Psycho I probably would have said no. I don’t feel like this is because I didn’t think it was a good film, I think it is because this type of person does not want to watch anything that wasn’t made this century or that won’t excite them as they may feel that it would be a waste of time if they don’t get any enjoyment out of it. If this is the type of person we are putting this question against then the answer would most likely be no, so why is this?


To find out why let’s look at what could possibly be the reason that may be putting them off of watching it. Well to start it could be the black and white style which Alfred Hitchcock decided to use, this may put them off as it signifies the old times when films were much more dialogue based with less action because of the lack of CGI or huge budgets, if we are keeping with the stereotype of a modern audience which we have previously established then they would be use to most films they watch having some kind of big action scene or at least a relatively high budgets so that not being in here may also put them off as the start at least is mainly all talking. Another reason could have been the time in which it came out, Psycho was released in 1960’s in which alot of things were different so people may be drawn away from it as they may not get as many references or understand as many things as they don’t have a good knowledge of the time it was set. This final reason could be because some of the murders don’t quite hold up with the standard of today’s cinema, when you watch the infamous shower scene you can definitely tell that it is fake which may brake some peoples immersion and make them turn it off.

However, I don’t feel like everyone who is this type of person is just going to not watch the film. We have to of course take into account different tastes in genre and style but I think that overall the film is tense and gripping enough to keep those audiences who would not normally go out of their way to watch a film like this. Overall I feel like the average movie goer might at least give this film a chance to see if they like it and if you are one of the people described above I urge you to watch Psycho as it is such an influential film that has inspired so many other more modern films.

Do you agree or disagree with my view, leave a comment down below? Don’t forget to also like the post and follow for more posts like these.



10 thoughts on “Does Psycho Still Hold Up For Modern Audiences?

  1. I think I’ve seen this film all the way through only once. When I first saw it, I was quite familiar with the shower scene, Norman’s mother, etc., I thought there would be few surprises. Boy, was I wrong! I didn’t realize Janet Leigh’s character was on the run from the law, and I was not prepared for some of the shocking scenes. “Psycho” isn’t my thing, but I can appreciate it as a masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read the book by Robert Bloch first before actually seeing the film, and l have enjoyed both and have watched the film through several times. The film is a masterpiece for the suspense, but can fully understand why many of todays’ audiences may not be enamoured by its simplistic quality.

    My own partner has never seen the film, she favours films from specific genres and styles and Black & White horrors for want of a description is not her thing or that matter are any horrors or films of this type.

    These days we are spoiled by films and their trickery and their ability to pack a graphic punch, and l think that is why many film goers quite possibly wouldn’t give this the attention it deserves.

    But you are spot on in your review, Hitchcock’s film here did indeed inspire many other genres to follow in the footsteps of this true beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, it was definitely a different time. The lack of special effects, the dialogue-heavy script, the slower pacing, and eventual final reveal (as well as the murder scene, which, to today’s violence-saturated audiences may seem insufferably tame), were much more commonplace in the 60’s. B&W film is still a thing used to evoke mood (check the latest Black Mirror season, the episode “Metalhead” was filmed entirely in B&W), but it does immediately smack of age. I’d say that Psycho would appeal much more to today’s indie-movie goes – those who prefer a slower pace and larger chunks of dialogue. In this respect, Psycho might be a great indie-crossover hit, but it’s hard to say if it would be a ‘hit’ movie if released as-is today. What are your thoughts on the Bates Motel series, which takes the themes of Psycho and adds backstory and new plot elements to the bones of the movie version?


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