As much as I don't think Psycho's scares hold up tremendously well by today's standard, (though its direction and soundtrack will always be timeless), it's boundary pushing concept and invention of both the slasher film and the psychological horror genre make this a truly iconic piece of cinema.
The first 45 minutes are a total masterpiece, right up to That Shower Scene which somehow still manages to be so intense and shocking all these years later. This part is all A+! And then the 2nd half is pretty much a different movie, solidly entertaining, creepy, and cool but not quite amazing. This part gets a B. It's tough to rate this one as a whole but I'm going B+.
One of those films I've watched almost annually since I was 14 or so. It still gets me to shut out the rest of the world and really engage with it to the point where there are new discoveries with each viewing. The denouement scene feels like an appendage to what's otherwise one of the most effective thrillers ever. An experiment in audience identification, beautifully appropriate given Bates' split identity.
Hitchcock's decision to shoot in black and white lends the film a sense of intimate voyeurism, and the mise-en-scene is incredibly detailed. The scene of Vera Miles scavenging through the Bates' home is one of the greatest in film history. Also, Janet Leigh might be the first person to ever say "I'll lick the stamps" as a term of endearment.
Yep, I do have to watch this again. Because, unlike... everyone I know, I don't really like Psycho that much. And I want to understand if it's because the film is so good that it makes me unconfortable, or because I just don't identify with what it's about.