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Horror movies. Are we sick in the head? (585 views, 54 replies)


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In Hitchcock's Psycho, Norman Bates butchers a woman while she's taking a shower. He then tries to dispose of her dead body. Accordingly, he loads her corpse into a car which he then pushes into a pond.

Now we should be hoping he gets caught and punished. But his car with the dead woman's body in it fails to sink. And the thing is we should be hoping it doesn't sink so he gets caught, but that's not what we do.

Are we sick in the head? I mean, he pushes his car into the pond but it doesn't sink, whereupon at that point we should be like yeah that's good now he'll get caught, but as I say that's not what we do.

So why do we watch that scene and hope the car sinks? Isn't that identifying with Bates? Surely we should be doing the opposite? As we watch that scene we should be hoping the car doesn't sink. But we don't do that. And so?

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God
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Are we sick in the head? Absolutely!

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master
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@bondojoe If you consult shrinks and anthropologists(the study of man)they will probably tell you that in our subconscious,we still have primeval impulses and we are still literally animals that are trying to be more than that.Freud himself said that there is a thin vineer of civilization over a (??)primitive creature.something like that.these guys are right;we are genetically very close to a type of chimpanzee,and chimps make war on each other,and murder whole groups.It;s not an EXCUSE.ITS JUST FACT THOUGH. So its no wonder we have games,films,that get it out of our systems,even kids.Kids are VERY PRIMTIVE YET,and parents have to install morals,laws,and all the restrictions for living in a human civilization. Don't feel guilty for horror movies where you scare yourself,and see monsters,it's just your subconscious letting off steam safely.
the UNSAFE HUMAN is the drunk or potted driver who kills people on highways,in reality,and uses the substance as an excuse.Arabic countries are still rather primitive in many ways--some male adults still literally believe in magic.(Of course some Christians believe in God coming some day,everyone rising from the grave, ect,)so its a moot point WHO is primitive.--Most of us.Enjoy the movie,its ok.

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@clarachan1355 You might like to read, "The Third Chimpanzee" by Jared Diamond. In it, he examines what, exactly, is in the 1.6% of DNA difference between us and the other chimpanzee species, and what the ramifications are of that difference when played out in society. (He notes that there is only 2.3% difference between chimps and gorillas, and only 2.9% difference between what we recognize as different species of the same bird, like the red-eyed and white-eyed vireos. Taxonomically speaking, that means we should be rightfully "classified" as just a third species of chimpanzee, along with our cousins the Bonobos and the common Chimpanzee.)
It's a good book by a great author who manages to make hard science very readable for the average person. And if you like that one, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Guns, Germs and Steel" by the same author should be next on your reading list.)

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@TRCIII Dogs also happen to share 84 percent of our DNA. I don't see a relationship. Cats share 90 percent of our genes. They must be almost human!

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@bondojoe What about Wolves? How much DNA do they share with Wolverine?

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God
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@Crutchbender It probably depends on your political persuasion.

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admin
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@bondojoe We also share more than 50% of genetic makeup with a banana. Which isn't that far-fetched when people make ridiculous statements like that. LOL

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@DemandingFemale Like what? That " we should be rightfully "classified" as just a third species of chimpanzee?"

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admin
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@DemandingFemale Haha great minds!!

Or is that cos we're both bananas?? Or related to bananas? Gone bananas? Like bananas? Like to get "peeled"?... smiley


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master
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@bondojoe Cats have 90 percent?How is that possible?Can you break that down?You think its mostly physical build?But chimps are no close to cats,either.I wonder if its all cells,skin,heart,ect ecvt, organs,toe nails,common stuff.me-ow,My cat is a Burmese,similar to siamese,snobby,particular,nasty tempered,sensitive--its me.That tells why i got her.heh

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God
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@clarachan1355 It turns out that cats actually share 90 percent of our genes. They might have also purposely inserted themselves into our homes. They might have also purposely inserted themselves into our homes. Evidence suggests these guys self-domesticated over 10,000 years ago by helping farmers in order to get a little extra protection and food.
9 Animals Who Have More In Common With Humans Than You ...
www.thedodo.com/animals-you-had-no- idea-were-so-closely-related-to-humans-1 172946617.html

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@TRCIII The problem with such authors and scientists is they're totally restricted to what is physical, measurable and natural. And so as they see it if this looks like that then they must be the same as each other or at least closely related.

But that's so blinkered. Thus scientists aren't the best when it comes to understanding reality. All they can show us is how the natural world works, how it manifests itself. But as I say, reality is much more than just material stuff.

Hence likening us to chimps doesn't really work. Such a claim is not a full account of who we are. We may be related to chimps, sure, but even if it's true they're our cousins, so to speak, that's still not saying a lot.

In so many ways homo sapiens are way different to chimps, and every other animal for that matter. Thus when it comes to understanding what makes us different, why we're so special, it's not science or blinkered scientists we need, but poets, priests, philosophers and prophets.

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@Crutchbender Science says the reason we have poets, priests, philosophers and prophets and are able to have this conversation on a computer built by minds that conceived the sciences of electronics, metallurgy, magnetism, optics and more, is likely because of what's contained in that 1.6% of DNA that differentiates us from the our nearest evolutionary relative. Diamond, using the best scientific studies from archeology, paleontology, sociology, biology, and a variety of other disciplines available, synthesizes them into coherent theories explaining "la difference" that made humans leave the trees and jungles to become the dominant species on the planet while our cousins remained behind. Desmond Morris began the speculation back with his book in the '60s "The Naked Ape" when he asked the deceptively-simple question: why would humans take the drastic evolutionary steps to give up a covering of full-body fur? It's clearly useful, it's protective against the elements and injuries, the sun is decidedly bad for bare skin...so what happened that made us just start stealing the fur (and skins) off of other animals? Also a fun read, although a bit dated in its understanding of evolution, since much has been discovered in the last 50 years, particularly our understanding of DNA.

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master
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@TRCIII Yes,I remember the Naked Ape.very good author.The 1.6% of DNA made us humans..What if other animals somehow got that same 1.6% ,in them?.oh-oh sci-fi again.You'd start from trying to mix that % with another unhuman-animals' genes.--at the beginning of creation--that sounds like an impossible job in reality.--unless you were crazy enough to try it,just to see what happens.--pick an animal with so many other similar-to-human genes,so it would tilt to meld successfully--I'd pick an elephants' genes,but I'm prejudiced.--The brain might be similar,but still,not close enough.Elephants do have advantages,very positive genes humans could use.Matriarchal society,"flexible trunk,for manipulation of objects".--good memory.They very rarely make WAR.They do defend other elephants.--gestation is ..?two years?Test how high their intelligence is.Still, another ape would be closer.I wonder if any fiend has been trying this stuff?--who knows scientifically how to do it?(not me,)I'mn ok on ideas,but not real science.

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God
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@Crutchbender Well said. It's not the DNA that we share with other organisms that make us a like a bannana. In human beings, the difference between one person and another is a fraction of one percent. Identical twins have the same DNA, are raised the same, under the same circumstances, but are often completely different kinds of people. When you take the "poets, priests, philosophers and prophets" out of the equation..you lose the thing that MAKES us unique. There IS nothing like man in the Universe...as far as we know.

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master
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@bondojoe we're hoping there is nothing that similar to us!!We like war and violence too much.--we could use aliens who are calmer,intellectual,love science,& practice a type of nurtering,non-violent society.-it would be good for us.THAT TYPE of gene we could use.--that would take us farther from our violent genes.Now, poets,priests,I know they often have inherited genes for that.--not kidding!!Families who are that way. Philosophers are a type of high intellectual thought,up there with higher math,and physics,that is the same family of genes.--"Can think out of the box,"--very much.Prophets?supposidly there are no modern ones,for many eons.--they no longer appear.Somehow prophets may have gone into Wall St,predict what happens,and make a fortune off it.They no longer have the religious structure,to support religious predicting-NO priests.No church.--that's happened to prophets--no box to lecture off.

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@TRCIII wow, TRC111 thank you for mentioning it.So we should be classified as "a third species of chimpanzee.""hee hee!!GREAT!!i'D LOVE TO READ THAT,CUZ I'M LAUNCHING BOOK-BUYING.--and i can see the chimp behavior in human beings, too close,ha ha its humiliating!snicker!But this should really halt bad experimenting on chimps,because its like torturing and killing a cousin!--its like torturing another innocent person.

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I often wonder about that, to be honest. lol

I don't have any problem sitting watching someone being gruesomely slaughtered while I'm eating my dinner. There's got to be something wrong with that wouldn't you agree?

The only time I loose my appetite when watching horror is when someone in scene is vomiting, which by the way, seems to be trending lately. Has anyone else noticed that?

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master
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@michael59 But inside you know its imaginary fake, right??see above comment.Men in military often see horrors,that are real,and those happenings really can traumatize modern man.--wouldn't you rather see the fake stuff,than get drafted,and see real horrors?(some were described in the novel"Catch-22"about soldiers.)Maybe you also have some submerged anger you can't express or feel--and movies release it.Shrinks often say that.We respond a lot,to movies.(I had a crush on"Blue Velvet"movie saw it zillions of times.)That is a wierd,satirical,and even sick(in parts)movie. But humans feel differently than others too.

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@michael59 Vomiting in horror has always been popular. But I have noticed a rise in its use recently - enough to include a warning in my reviews if it's excessive as I know plenty of people will happily watch a victim be gutted, but can't watch them puke, lol.

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master
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Humankind has been sick in the head from day one...sit back and just enjoy the ride 😎

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God
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@MarkRowley LOL! We really ARE a disgusting, ignorant example of a species!

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master
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@MarkRowley heh heh--true,we still war, don't we?

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@MarkRowley I'm convinced it's closely tied to the evolutionary trait that made us the dominant species on the planet...and it's still regularly acted out in our general tendency toward genocide, mass murder, the wholesale extinction of other species and (in everyday non-murderous life) very human traits like schadenfreude, when left unchecked by external forces.

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Well it's one thing to watch gruesome slaughtering, which is weird enough, but my question is about how we often identify with or even support the psycho killer. As I say, we shouldn't be disappointed when the Bates car fails to sink. The fact it fails to sink means he could get caught which is surely a good thing. But we watch and hope it does sink, which strikes me as very wrong. And it happens in other movies. I recall rooting for Hannibal Lecter as he made his escape.

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master
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@Crutchbender Yes, your internal instincts and feelings can play out on movies.

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master
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@Crutchbender I myself identify with the detective (who gets killed)trying to find the murderer,and as the woman'
s sister,who is trying to find her.And since I do,I get very scared of Bates,and his mom,and scared of insanely murderous people.The movie REALLY scares me, hah smiley

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@Crutchbender America, in particular, seems to take a fair amount of--maybe not glee, but certainly intense fascination with--"glorifying" and "worshiping" the anti-heroes and notorious bad guys: Al Capone, The Dillinger Gang, Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, Billy the Kid...we know these names in the U.S. because they're part of our cultural history: "successful" bad guys. Did some people root for them? Probably. Because at some level, they either wished they were them--renegades, outlaws, scofflaws and ne'er-do-wells, who were strong enough to challenge "the system" or at the very least, give it the finger, occasionally.
The UK has them, also: there's William Wallace and Guy Fawkes, and other cultures I'm less familiar with probably have their anti-heroes as well.
Because mankind chafes in bondage...and what are the restrictions of "polite society" and law and government, but a very secure cage we've come to accept as our boundaries for civilized behavior? And some days, people just snap and bust down the door to that cage. Then you get your massacres--your Columbines and your Century 21s and your Parklands and Charles Manson and Jim Jones. Who very few people "hero worship". Because there IS a line out there--a wavery, fluctuating line--past which most sane people don't feel comfortable continuing to "root" for the bad guy in real life.
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@TRCIII ...... Great post, good to read. Got me thinking about The Joker. I recall in the US one guy shot up a cinema showing Batman. I think I'm right in saying he was into The Joker big time. Anyway, he flipped and went gunning for anyone in the cinema. I guess he had mental problems.

Setting those with mental probs aside, many others do as you say root for anti-heroes, especially if they're fighting the police and authorities. Hence there's plenty who support Capone, Bonnie & Clyde, Jesse James, and Dillinger, etc. I can see why that is. People often side with the underdog.

But you make a good point, which is if we're talking about a sicko such as Manson then nearly everyone agrees there's no way such psychos should even be allowed to live. They're so evil, the death penalty is too good for them.

Which brings me back to my original point. Norman Bates isn't an anti-hero, in my view, he's a psycho-killer who has butchered a beautiful and totally innocent woman. So why do we hope he doesn't get caught? When he's trying to get rid of his car with the body in it, why do we hope the car sinks?
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@Crutchbender Interesting Questions: Here's some more:
Do we "know" Bates is the killer at that point in the movie, or do we still believe his mother is alive and completely unwell, and that he was just cleaning up after "her" bad deed?
Either way, for those of us who've seen it before, and know the full story, is Bates "really" Bates when he kills or is he so completely unhinged that he truly believes he's his dead mom punishing those "hussies" for tempting her son...and therefore, kind of a victim, himself? I think that might be the clue, there...
As an aside, I read a cute snippet from a working mom who felt she was cycling between two personalities ("Guilty Mom" and "Frustrated Writer") and said when she saw the final scene in Psycho where the two personalities have "merged" remarked, "He seems so peaceful, now," and she was decidedly envious. :)
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@TRCIII Does anyone root for Jason (Friday the 13th)? Yes. Film critics often comment on the fact that when they pre-view the Jason movies most of the audience don't seem to have any sympathy for the victims. As you know, many of the victims are teenagers jumping into camp beds with each other. And so it's like they deserve to be slashed and killed for doing so much premarital sex.

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@Crutchbender I think that the TV/movie slasher genre had a lot to do with the fact that most of the teens/victims had fleeting parts in the show. In other words, the character building was not there to make you care about them.

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@michael59 On the flip side, "Cabin in the Woods" ( twomovies.tv/watch_movie/The_Cabin_in_th.... is my absolute favorite of the genre, because they turned the formula around, and made it clear the "monsters" were not the heroes.

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@TRCIII Mine too. I watch it at least once a year.

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@Crutchbender I've always had trouble with the idea of Jason and Michael Myers as instruments of a wrathful God, exacting justice on "slutty" young people--or that death was a suitable punishment for their "crime".
Maybe why I was never really a fan of the genre.
Added to that, while I dutifully watched number one or two of each of the main franchises when they first came out (Hallowe'en, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street) that was about it. After that, they just felt derivative, not only of the genre, but of themselves. Seriously, there have been about a dozen each of the Jason/Michael movies and nearly as many Freddies. How do they keep a "fan base" with that same premise over and over again? Why is that "fun"? Maybe because I was an EMT and saw enough real-life carnage, I never really got into the "spirit" of watching "gore-for-gore's sake" flicks, but for whatever the reason, I just don't "get" those movies.
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My take is, it’s refreshing to see someone so determined to be what we classically call evil. It gets kind of boring, when you can predict the end of a movie, knowing the "good guy" will win. I didn't want Norman Bates to get caught (in the series that was on)with Vera Farmiga(sp?) and Freddie Highmore.. Bates Motel.. loved to see what he was up to next....lol.

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@Rescue Dog Mama Dexter was also one of my favorite "anti-heroes"...no question there were some rocks loose in that head, but at least he only killed other killers, so you could more "safely" feel good about rooting for him.

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@TRCIII I loved that show, hated when it ended!!

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@TRCIII I always rooted for Dexter too.

That show was pretty cleaned up for TV. We hardly ever saw the gruesome side of what he was doing. IMO, the writers wanted us to root for him. If we actually saw the step by step calculated torture he put these people through, I/we would probably feel a lot differently about him.

I started to feel differently about him near the end. I think I started feeling differently about him when his sister found out.

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master
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So you like that the movie is stating"In reality, evil wins most of the time,or CAN WIN--and happy endings are more rare than evil ones."The honesty and reality of these films where he escapes,maybe you're saying too"I feel sorry for the bad guy" or"the fact is,they escape often."--which is true.And its boring to always see a happy ending.

Hollywood happy endings were there for a reason; often in real life,things did NOT COME OUT OK.VERY MUCH BAD REALITY was always hitting real people.--and these "happy endings"in movies were an escape,from real bad world events.My sister and I discussed this,(we're both old)about real life versus Hollywood happy endings.Her reality,of being very sick,Has been very BAD.PAINFUL.sHE SAID WHEN SHE WATCHES A MOVIE, she wants a happy ending,CAUSE REAL LIFE IS NOT HAPPY.People die,get old,leave you,get old,sick,and are gone a lot.--Real life is depressing!!Its hard to be positive about any of it. So its ok about your preference,too.

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I always thought I was warped bc my parents let me watch what I wanted growing up. My father is a huge horror fan so of course I grew up seeing horror movies. I remember still having my blanket when I saw the exorcist bc I hid underneath it throughout. I still love horror movies today and I think it stems from a need to be scared. Like going to haunted houses. I've read that sometimes it comes from people who have lived with anxiety themselves or in their lives. That they listen to heavier music, see horror movies because that higher level of anxiety feels normal to them. Not sure if that's true it not. I do find myself rooting for the bad guy/creature in horrors from time to time so I do understand what you mean.
I guess we are all mad here!
Teeny💋

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God
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@Teeny💋 If there WERE no movies, or media, we would still be mad. In OTHER ways. But it's TRUE that there is a correlation between media, and violent crime. www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news...

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master
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@Teeny💋 I have seen some Asian horror movies,like "A Tale of 2 Sisters"where psychological terror has no props,but one person in a room(and the hidden camera of course)and nothing else.But the actor is in SUCH TERROR & FEAR,looking at the empty room,you know something horrible is also there.NOW,that's horror!! smiley --barely any props!!.

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master
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@Teeny💋 I get WHY.You know what an "E-meter "is?It gets rigged up to a computer,and your brain,and its used to help people to train themselves to enter states of calm and meditation--your brain has to enter a calm state,a positive one,to avoid the meter going to the opposite side in a state of agitation,anxiety,fear.Shrinks use it,you could probably buy one to hook on yer computer.Now,"Grand Theft Auto"(I think it sounds fun)on a young person,teen,kid,would probably train him to bring out the violent side of him.--we all have it, but we don't train those feelings to be used.--soldiers do.--"Kill the enemy!!Pretend the target is the enemy."SO WHAT'S DIFFERENT THAN THE VIDEO? NOT MUCH. "Grand theft auto" sounds FUN TO ME,cause i would not do that in reality.but I'm old.Now on young people that is different.

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while i don't doubt that director Alfred Hitchcock intended for the audience to fixate on how slowly the car was sinking in that scene, i never felt compelled to side with either the psychotic killer nor the police in that film.

overall, i found Psycho an effective study in mystery, suspense and terror: best viewed with an open mind, without expectations, because not everything is clear-cut heroes and villains.

there are any number of films today that all but presume your empathy for the killer, and that i find to be more of a reflection on the filmmakers and the studios who support their work, rather than the audience.

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@uunboundd Good point about everything not so clear-cut heroes and villains. In Psycho the woman who gets butchered by Bates is stopping over at his Motel because she's doing a runner from her job with $40,000. They trusted her to bank the money but she decided to bag it for herself and her lover. And so she's not exactly innocent.

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master
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@Crutchbender --a victim of her own crime,cuz her actions put her into Bate's life.--by herself.If a man was with her,Bates would probably leave them alone.But,she's vulnerable cause she fled by herself, no companion..

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@uunboundd I particularly like when they invest you in hating the bad guy throughout the entire movie or franchise, seeing them as pure evil, but then "flip" you at the end, à la [SPOILER],, or [SPOILER]..

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@uunboundd (considering what Hitchcock apparently was like,i can now see his movies in him.--a very unpleasant view.But in no situation of life,is someone all good,or all bad,but shades of each one.If you see victims of mental illness,from the doctor's viewpoint,you understand a lot more that we are slaves of the circumstances we're born into.--and really having control over yer life,or WHAT You are LIKE,is disgustingly most unchangeable.These things in yer brain?pathways?That your mind slips into again and again?So you do the same action,over and over?They cannot change that.SURGERY might be the mental tool of the future,with lasers,to actually change those pathways we don't want.WHY surgery??Even medicine,"therapy-"to change behavior only,its been a huge failure mostly.But, nuerology is a new frontier.They still know little about it.But EMPATHY is worth the trouble,for anyone.--even the worst person.--they are still human beings.).

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In that point in the movie we weren't aware that Norman was a killer. A fragile, seemingly innocent person covering up for his mother is something we can sympathize with.
If you had a throbbing erection while watching the woman get butchered... then you might be a little sick in the head.

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master
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@thesslazarus He may be fragile because he can't handle reality,and becomes "her"just to survive life.--That is pretty sick,and handling real life continuously would be a huge stessar on him.--He already can't handle customers,in a sane manner.--so he'd be found out eventually.

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