Analyze all of the sound effect from the Famous “shower scene” A. visuals: Describe each visual as Marion steps into the shower until she hit the floor. B. Vocals: Describe the sound Marion makes from the time she steps into the shower until she falls, slides the shower wall. C. Sound effects: Describe the sound effects from the minute Marion enters the shower until the end of the scene. D. Music: Discuss the corresponding visuals from the minute the music begins; the increase in volume, the decrease in volume, the end. Alfred Hitchcock is a wonderful director and has made many amazing films.
One of his most famous movies is Psycho (1960) and along with this famous movie came one of the greatest horror scenes to ever be made. The scene I am speaking of is of course the classic “shower scene”. For its time this scene seemed very controversial with the amount of blood being shown. For most people who saw this film the scene stuck with them for a while because of how shocking it was and terrifying. Besides the facts of how scary it was it took a lot of work to make this scene, seven days and over seventy camera set ups to make it just prefect.
A fantastic scene like this one should be broken down piece by piece. First thing to look at is the visuals of this piece. Even from the beginning on the scene you could tell something horrible was going to happen. Marion closes the door and takes off her night gown to get in the shower as the camera follows her. Once she’s in the shower she opens the soap and the camera is looking at her as if it was the wall where the shower head is. She turns on the water and looks as if it makes her relax instantly and starts to wash her body.
The camera moves around to a spot where you can see her and the shower curtain. Then you can tell the door is being opened and someone is coming in. As the body starts to move toward the shower, the camera zooms in on that person that is trying to get too Marion. The shower curtain is then ripped open and there is instant grabbing and stabbing. Marion attempts to stop her but she seems far too weak. The camera uses quick changes to make the viewer feel even more uncomfortable because the audience can’t actually see the knife going into the victim.
The attacker’s face is blacked out the only chance there is to see it but by the looks of the clothes it makes the audience believe it is the mother. As she is being attacked the camera is focused on the bath tub where all the blood is being washed down the drain. Once the “mother” leaves the bathroom the camera focuses on Marion up against the back wall and slowly sliding down and falls forward to her death. Some of the vocals made by Marion in this scene are once she fist gets into the shower she takes a deep breath and releases.
She is quite while she is by herself until the attacker comes and she instantly screams like most women would in this situation. She starts to say “no! ” and continues to cry out to anyone to help her with her screams. It’s very easy to feel her pain with the screams that she is making while she is being stabbed. The sound effects in this scene are very important because they have to really make the viewer believe she is being stabbed. As I learned in class, the film makers stabbed a watermelon to make the sounds of her being stabbed by the knife.
These effects were very believable and really made it seem as if the knife was going into her. Another part about the sound was the music in this scene. In the beginning there isn’t any music at all, just the noise Marion is making while entering the shower and the sound of the shower running. As soon as the curtain opens the orchestra begins with very loud and high pitch music to catch the audience off guard. As she is being attacked the volume of the music starts to drop down a little bit because of screaming and groaning.
Once the attack is over the music changes to a loud, deeper, more dramatic sounding tempo and dies down and finally stops right before to falls to her death. This scene is very complex for its time and definitely the most horrifying. After I broke down this scene it showed me why it would take seven days to film this forty-five second part of the movie. Hitchcock probably wanted it to be absolutely perfect and with the technology that they had back then it makes a great deal of sense why it would take that long. This scene will forever be remembered in film history as one of the greatest.