Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock was a restless innovator, and Psycho gnawed at the edges of taste and decency by being way ahead of its time: the combination of the film’s independent young blonde (Leigh), its slasher scenes and its lone male perpetrator (Perkins), crazed and motivated by a disturbing family background, gave the film a modernity that sets it apart from most of Hitchcock’s films both before and after. Psycho deserves a place so high on this list for its influence alone: its legendary shower scene still shocks, but at the time such brutal bloodletting, albeit suggested via the trickery of Hitchcock’s camera and editing and the power of Bernard Herrmann’s score, was groundbreaking and immediately copied. Psycho kickstarted a shift in the appetite of mainstream audiences for experiencing the extreme and inspired other filmmakers to exploit gore with less high-minded motivations ever since. DC
Dir Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh)

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