Shock & Gore 2018 announce lineup of classic terror with new horrors this July

They sometimes say real life is scarier than horror movies. Those people just aren’t watching the right movies.

The Shock & Gore festival returns this summer at The Electric Cinema from Friday 27th July to Sunday 5th August, delivering another programme of unashamedly strange and downright shocking films to get your decaying teeth into.

Classics like The Old Dark House and the original Cape Fear are accompanied by new films such as Under The Treeand A Prayer Before Dawn along with cult favourites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Prisoner, plus our annual party night marks 20 years ofBlade and 50 years of Night Of The Living Dead.

We’re also hosting a special screening of Ben Wheatley’s anarchic High-Rise at the top of Birmingham’s iconic Rotunda building, and our popular Trash Film Night will be taking to the seas (or, more accurately, Birmingham’s canals) for a floating screening of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.

The entire programme can be seen below and tickets can be purchased online at,
plus you can find the festival on Twitter @ShockGore.

The Secret Of Marrowbone (15)

Dates: Friday 27th July to Thursday 2nd August
Times: Various
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of the spine-tingling horror The Orphanage, makes his directorial debut with this lusciously filmed period piece about a bereaved family who have to face up to the ghosts of their past.

Escaping a troubled past in Britain, Rose and her four children travel to an inherited home in rural America. When Rose dies, the children plan to hide their mother’s death until the 21st birthday of eldest son Jack (George MacKay) so they can stay together as a family. Jack, Jane (Mia Goth), Billy (Charlie Heaton) and five-year-old Sam (Matthew Stagg) live in impoverished conditions as they keep their secret from the world – but when a lawyer comes poking into their lives, the dreadful truth about what is hiding in the old Marrowbone house comes to light…

Featuring a host of well-known horror faces that include The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy and Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton, The Secret Of Marrowbone offers an intricate plot alongside the ghostly atmospherics, forging something much more memorable than a bog standard ghost story and demonstrating how Sánchez has picked up a few tricks from his colleague J. A. Bayona.

Cape Fear (15)

Dates: Friday 27th July to Saturday 4th August
Times: Various
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Screen psychopaths don’t come more…well, psychotic than Max Cady, the terrifying monster at the centre of a 1962 chiller which pushed at the boundaries of American movie censorship, complete with a menacing Bernard Herrmann score.

Robert Mitchum gives another memorable performance as Cady, who begins a reign of terror against Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), the lawyer who got him sentenced to eight years in prison for rape. Targeting his family but careful to stay within the law to ensure he doesn’t return to jail, the scenario is set for a showdown that asks how far a man will go to protect his family.

That Cape Fear makes no bones about the fact that Cady wants to sexually assault Bowden’s underage daughter is just one of the more shocking parts of J. Lee Thompson’s gripping film, which showed just how far things were changing in terms of what could be shown and said on screen.

Buffy & Angel Crossover Shindig

Dates: Friday 27th July
Times: 8.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

‘Vampires don’t sleep in coffins. It’s a misconception made popular by hack writers and ignorant media.’

Scooby gangs across the country, unite! Last year’s feelgood celebration of Joss Whedon’s seminal Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series was a huge success that gave us all warm feelings inside, so we’ve decided to do it again this year – only now with added Angel.

Launched in 1997, Buffy didn’t take long to become a cult success, rapidly spawning a spin-off just two years later in the form of the Los Angeles set Angel, based around David Boreanaz’s hunky vamp. The two series shared a number of characters over the years, from Willow to Darla to Spike, and at times Angel produced episodes that were as good as (maybe even better?) than its Sunnydale set progenitor.

Like last year, YOU will be deciding which episodes we’ll be watching from each series, choosing one episode from Buffy and one episode from Angel. We’ll also be putting together another quiz, with delicious Buffyverse prizes to be won. Fancy dress is definitely encouraged, as are fierce debates about whether Buffy should have been with Angel or Spike.

Or maybe Riley? No, not Riley.
The Addiction (18)

Date: Friday 27th July
Time: 11pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

You might expect the director of Driller Killer and Bad Lieutenant to make an almost unbearably gruesome vampire movie, but his 1995 horror The Addiction – although gory – is more intellectual than insanely violent.

Filmed in black and white, Ferrara casts Lily Taylor as a New York grad student who is bitten by a female bloodsucker named Casanova – but her transition is as much a mental one as a physical one, rotting from the inside and discussing life itself with Christopher Walken’s philosophical vampire.

As usual, New York plays an essential part in Ferrara’s film, a city on the cusp of Rudy Giuliani’s ‘gentrification’ as Taylor’s bedraggled addict uses a syringe to draw blood from a homeless man and shoots it up like heroin. One of Ferrara’s most uncompromising films and a beautifully shot addition to the vampire mythos.

We Want Information: A Celebration of The Prisoner (PG)

Date: Saturday 28th July
Time: 1.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

‘Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.’

Fifty years ago, ITV broadcast one of the most baffling and divisive episodes of serialised drama it has ever – or will ever – screen. The final episode of the Patrick McGoohan fantasy show The Prisoner, Fall Out was expected to give desperate fans of this complex and mysterious show about a former secret agent imprisoned in a coastal village resort some answers. To paraphrase Number Two, they wanted information. Instead, they got more questions.

The Prisoner was truly one of a kind, a surreal and philosophically charged fantasy drama that was never going to end wrapped up in a neat bow. McGoohan allegedly went into ‘hiding’ after the episode’s broadcast to avoid enraged viewers, and since that day fifty years ago, the show’s cult following has only grown as viewers continue to unpick the storyline for clues.

For this special celebration of The Prisoner, we will be screening not only the final episode but the preceding instalment Once Upon A Time, the two complementing each other perfectly for a fascinating double bill. Each episode will be introduced by Deborah McDougall and Alan Beale, the minds behind Six Of One, the official Prisoner appreciation society who have been organising Prisoner conventions in the Welsh village Portmeirion since 2001.

They might have answers for you. Or more questions.

Jubilee (15)

Date: Saturday 28th July
Time: 5.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Derek Jarman’s apocalyptic fantasia Jubilee couldn’t have been made in any other decade than the 1970s, shot through with punk aesthetics and featuring turns from Adam Ant, Siousxie & The Banshees and Toyah Willcox.

Filmed during the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee, Jarman’s film sees Elizabeth I and her alchemist Dr John Dee conjure up Shakespeare’s sprite Ariel, who sends them travelling through time to a brutal dystopian version of 1970s London where violent girl gangs roam the capital and Westminster cathedral has been turned into a gay disco club.

Sticking two bloodied fingers up to the establishment, Jubilee is a gloriously messy affair that’s as petty and nihilistic as the punk movement it aimed to simultaneously represent and satirise on screen, whilst Rocky Horror fans will get a thrill from seeing Nell Campbell and Richard O’Brien in Jarman’s eccentric cast.

Terminal (15)

Date: Saturday 28th July
Time: 8.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

A first rate cast that includes Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers (returning to the big screen after nearly a decade’s absence) populate this twisted comic book film noir, set in an anonymous neon-lit city where life is cheap and money talks dirty.

A host of characters skulk in Terminal’s shadows – two assassins (Dexter Fletcher & Max Irons) on a sinister mission, a teacher (Simon Pegg) battling a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor (Mike Myers) and a curious waitress (Margot Robbie) leading a dangerous double life, their lives all intertwining at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge.

Very much a case of delicious style over substance – and completely unapologetic about it – Vaughn Stein’s eye-popping film is like a graphic novel come to life. Imagine Sin City written by Lewis Carroll and you’re getting there.

Shock & Gore party night: Blade (18)

Date: Saturday 28th July
Time: 10.45pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Pick your poison as our annual Shock & Gore party night returns, audience members choosing to watch one of two classic horror movies, with the night embellished by themed cocktails and big screen videogaming.

Our main screen will be hosting a 20th anniversary showing of 1998 comic book horror Blade, starring Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter out to avenge his mother’s death at the hands of psychotic bloodsuckers, represented by Stephen Dorff’s techno loving vamp intent on summoning up a vampire blood god.

The very first Marvel box office success, Blade is a violent world away from the family friendly comic book films that dominate cinemas today, setting its stall early with a blood drenched rave. Stan Lee’s cameo was cut from the final edit, but he’s made up for it since.

Shock & Gore party night: Night Of The Living Dead (18)

Date: Saturday 28th July
Time: 10.45pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Pick your poison as our annual Shock & Gore party night returns, audience members choosing to watch one of two classic horror movies, with the night embellished by themed cocktails and big screen videogaming.

Our upstairs screen will be hosting a 50th anniversary showing of George A. Romero’s classic horror feature Night Of The Living Dead, the movie that effectively created the zombie genre and still ranks as one of the finest horrors ever created.

Dismissed as grotesque and amoral on its initial release, Romero’s film might have been reclaimed in the years since as a pointed piece of social critique, but its original ambition was merely to petrify audiences. Romero’s skill as a director ensures that fifty years on, the terror is still alive in Night Of The Living Dead, ingrained within every brutal frame of an apocalyptic nightmare that culminates with a dark ending that echoes the turbulent times the film was made in.

The Dark Crystal (PG)

Date: Sunday 29th July
Time: 11.30am
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs
Remember the first time you watched The Dark Crystal as a kid? Kind of freaked you out, didn’t it? From the ‘mind draining’ sequence to the Skeksis banquet scene, Jim Henson’s twisted fantasy scarred many a childhood mind.

Made in the early 1980s, The Dark Crystal was a real passion project for Henson, who wanted to make something akin to Grimm’s Fairy Tales, something unafraid to take its younger viewers down some darker paths as a young ‘Gelfling’ embarks on a quest to restore balance to her world by restoring the crystal of the title.

With the world of the Dark Crystal finally being revived for upcoming Netflix series Age Of Resistance, now is the perfect time to revisit the planet Thra and remind yourself of one of the strangest ‘kids’ movies ever made.

The Old Dark House (PG)

Dates: Sunday 29th July to Friday 3rd August
Times: Various
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Considered lost for many years, this 1932 adaptation of the J.B. Priestley novel Benighted came from Dudley native James Whale, and in one swift motion set the template for the spooky house movie.

Caught in a storm whilst journeying through a remote region of Wales, a group of travellers take refuge in a sinister mansion inhabited by the bizarre Femm family and their mute butler, Morgan (played by the iconic Boris Karloff). Trying to make the best of a bad situation, the group settles in for the night, but the Femm family have a few skeletons in their closet, and one of them is on the loose…

Now digitally restored for the big screen and looking better than it ever did in the 1930s, The Old Dark House managed to both create a genre whilst parodying it at the same time, a devilish sense of humour running through the film as audiences encounter a bed-ridden patriarch played by a woman and a mad butler who appears to be half-man, half wolf. A film that feels fifty years ahead of its time, The Old Dark House deserves to be as well known as Whale’s Frankenstein.

Shock & Gore 2018 short film showcase (18)

Date: Sunday 29th July
Time: 2pm
Prices: £6 all seats (sofas first come, first served)

The horror genre perfectly suits the short film format, offering up opportunities for snappy jump scares, extreme set pieces or brief snippets of terror. Every year Shock & Gore looks for some of the best weird and wonderful short films from across the globe, and 2018 has been a fruitful one.

Previous years have featured films from as far aflung as Japan, Dubai, Canada, the US, France and Italy, as well as a number of homegrown shorts. From dancing zombies to homicidal sea monsters, this collection of shorts attracts a larger audience every year, with the full list of films added to our official website three weeks before the screening date.

Man Bites Dog (18)

Date: Sunday 29th July
Time: 4.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

‘Why are you watching this stuff?’ That’s the kind of question any horror fan gets at some point in their life from friends and family, and the answer is as complex as the question is simple. 1992 Belgian satire Man Bites Dog looks to have some sick, darkly comic fun with that question, as a documentary crew become complicit in a serial killer’s crimes.

Benoît Poelvoorde plays Ben, an intelligent and articulate man who writes poetry, enjoys classical music and kills people at random. A film crew decide to follow him around for a ‘fly on the wall’ portrait, but they soon become willing accomplices to Ben’s savagery, beginning small by helping him move a body but ultimately becoming as bloodthirsty as him.

Beneath the carnage of Man Bites Dog, the three directors (including Poelvoorde) ask some pertinent questions about our obsession with violence being depicted on screen. Is it all harmless catharsis? Or has it done lasting damage to our souls? A companion piece to Michael Hanke’s Funny Games, Man Bites Dog is bold film-making that you probably shouldn’t watch.

But you want to…don’t you?

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Date: Tuesday 31st July
Time: 8.15pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

It’s shameful for us to admit it, but in the eight year existence of the Shock & Gore festival, we’ve never screened a Roger Corman film. Time to rectify that immediately with the cult director’s much-loved 1964 take on a classic Edgar Allan Poe story.

One of a number of Poe stories Corman brought to the screen (and the first filmed in Britain), The Masque Of The Red Death has a noticeably larger budget than a lot of shoestring Corman productions, with Vincent Price starring as the Satan worshipping Prince Prospero, who isolates himself in his palatial home whilst a plague known as the Red Death devastates his lands.

With Nicolas Roeg as cinematographer, The Masque of the Red Death looks as lavish as you’d imagine, and Patrick Magee gives a creepy performance that rivals Price’s delicious moustache twirling. Sure, there’s a lot of padding to the original short story, but this is Gothic horror at its most pleasingly decadent.

Carrie (18) + intro

Date: Wednesday 1st August
Time: 8.15pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Over 40 years since it was released, Brian de Palma’s Carrie is still one of – if not the best – adaptation of a Stephen King story. That might sound like faint praise when films like The Langoliers exist, but there’s something very special about de Palma’s film, which encapsulates the true horrors of being a teenager by embracing the unbridled nastiness at the heart of King’s best work.

Sissy Spacek plays the titular teen, bullied by both her classmates and her religious nutter of a mother (Piper Laurie). When she discovers she has latent telekinetic powers, the stage is set for a prom to remember as a young woman takes revenge on the monsters who have tormented her.

A bucket of pig’s blood and crucifixion by flying knives might seem over-the-top, but there’s more truth about the teenage experience in this film than a million high school US dramas. The screening will be introduced by University of Wolverhampton lecturer and Electrolyte writer Ed Jackson, who should probably check the rafters before he starts talking.

High-Rise (15) at the top of the Rotunda

Date: Thursday 2nd August
Time: 9pm
Prices: £19.50 per person (includes arrival drink, seats unallocated)

You’re invited to an exclusive party. Held at the top of the Rotunda in a luxurious penthouse, you can leave the real world behind as you step into the elevator and ascend to the heavens. But remember…hell is never too far away.

Undoubtedly the finest J. G. Ballard adaptation to date, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise is a beautifully eccentric feature that sees a 1970s high-rise descend into complete anarchy, with Tom Hiddleston’s doctor starting to lose his marbles as order breaks down and the law of the high-rise becomes survival of the fittest.

Where better to watch High-Rise than at the top of one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings? Enjoy some 70s canapes, have a drink on the balcony overlooking the city as night falls and then make yourself comfortable for a screening of a delightfully dystopian drama that pokes at the cracks in our ‘civilised’ society.

Conjurer’s Kitchen presents The Silence Of The Lambs (18)

Date: Thursday 2nd August
Time: 8pm
Prices: £25.90 back sofas, £22.50 front sofas, £20.70 std.

Continuing her long association with the Shock & Gore festival, master food artist Annabel de Vetten will be cooking up some devilishly sweet treats to accompany a screening of one of the greatest thrillers of the last thirty years – The Silence Of The Lambs.

FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), a specialist in serial killers, is fresh out of training and on the hunt for psychopathic murderer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). She adopts a high-risk strategy in visiting the imprisoned, dangerous and highly intelligent psychiatrist Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for his insight, but Lecter wants something in return from her that goes far beyond the acceptable…

Showered with awards upon its release, The Silence Of The Lambs remains as vital and horrific today as it was in 1991, and this Shock & Gore screening will feature an extra culinary dimension courtesy of Conjurer’s Kitchen that Hannibal Lecter himself would no doubt approve of.

The Vanishing (15)

Date: Friday 3rd August
Time: 6.15pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer’s The Vanishing is a supremely disturbing psychological thriller built from a nightmare premise – what would you do if somebody you loved disappeared into thin air?

Based on Tim Krabbé’s novella The Golden Egg, the story follows Rex as he searches for his girlfriend Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) after her mysterious disappearance during a routine rest stop. Putting up posters and handing out flyers, he remains desperate to find out what happened. Meanwhile, the perpetrator – having watched Rex for some time, intrigued by his obsessive searching – finally gets in touch years later, giving Rex what he both longs for and fears: the opportunity to learn first hand of his girlfriend’s fate.

Seamlessly directed by Sluizer, The Vanishing is a chilling study of the nightmarish potential for evil in the everyday. If you haven’t seen The Vanishing before, try and stay innocent of the plot’s final moments, which offer up an ending that leaves you completely floored (an ending that Sluizer’s US remake inevitably botched).

A Prayer Before Dawn (18)

Dates: Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th August
Times: 9pm (Fri) and 5.30pm (Sat)
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Torn skin, splintered bones and fountains of blood make up the perverse beauty of this brutal true life story set in a Thai prison, featuring an astonishing physical performance from Peaky Blinders star Joe Cole.

Cole plays Billy Moore, a convicted drug addict incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most notorious prisons. A terrifying world of drug abuse, rape and gang violence, Moore’s only escape is by taking part in the prison circuit’s Muay Thai boxing tournaments. Billy embarks on a relentless journey from one savage fight to the next, stopping at nothing to do whatever he must to preserve his life and regain his freedom.

Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast of primarily real inmates, A Prayer Before Dawn is a visceral journey through an unforgettable hell on earth. Special mention must go to fight choreographer David Ismalone too, whose intense work with Cole and his many opponents has produced some of the most eye-wincing fights ever put on screen.

Under The Tree (15)

Date: Saturday 4th August
Time: 3pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Proof that bad neighbours are a universal nightmare comes from this dark Icelandic satire from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, who depicts a suburban world spiralling into violence over the pettiest of grievances.

Under The Tree begins with a man (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson) accused of adultery by his ex-fiancée and forced to move in with his parents. While he fights for custody of his four-year-old daughter, he is gradually sucked into a bitter dispute between his parents and their neighbours regarding an old tree that casts a shadow on the neighbours’ deck. As the dispute intensifies, property is damaged, pets go missing and there is a persistent rumour that one neighbour was seen with a chainsaw…

Spiked with moments of dark comedy, this perfectly formed film shows how the smallest of problems can easily balloon into a catastrophe. ‘Why are we acting this way?’ asks one character as things continue to wildly escalate. Because that’s what humans do, answers Under The Tree.

Trash Film Boat presents Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (18)

Date: Saturday 4th August
Time: 7pm
Prices: £10 all tickets

All aboard the Trash Boat! For the first (and possibly last) time ever, Trash Film Night takes to the high seas (aka Birmingham’s canals) for a screening of the John Barrowman delight Shark Attack 3: Megalodon on a canal boat.

Made in the early 2000s, Shark Attack 3 is a mess of crap special effects, rubbish writing and terrible performances that makes the Sharknado films look realistic and features one of the most jaw-dropping lines in movie history (improvised by Barrowman for a laugh, but bizarrely kept in the final cut).

Trash Film Night hosts Luke and David will be welcoming audience members on board at The Water’s Edge in Brindleyplace just by The Handmade Burger Co., where your trash-tastic journey will begin, during which you can stare longingly at the watery depths as the sheer awfulness of Shark Attack 3 becomes immediately apparent. There’s never been another canal ride like it (maybe for good reason). Trash ahoy!

Little Terrors: Children’s Horror on Film & Television (12A)

Date: Sunday 5th August
Time: 2.45pm
Prices: £7, £5 concs (sofas first come, first served)

Children and horror: two things that you wouldn’t think would go together. Very often, it’s assumed that if children are exposed to horror, they will be psychologically ‘corrupted’ in some way – and so they should be protected from it at all costs.

Yet for many horror fans, our fascination with all things spooky began in childhood – whether because we watched something that we really weren’t supposed to, or were introduced to horror through children’s content such as Scooby Doo, Goosebumps or classic Disney fairy tales – like ‘that scene’ from Pinocchio. With recent films such as ParaNorman, Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania, and children’s toys like the Monster High dolls, horror for children is becoming increasingly mainstream.

This lecture from the University of Warwick’s Catherine Lester explores in detail the area of horror films and television programmes created specifically for children in the UK and the US, touching on the defining characteristics of children’s horror stories on film and television and how children’s horror is able to be both ‘scary’ enough to be classified as horror, but ‘safe’ enough to be considered ‘child-friendly’. Catherine aims to show that the relationship between children and horror is as complex as it is fascinating and that, far from being incompatible, children and horror are actually an ideal match.

Films and programmes discussed range from the popular to the obscure, the good to the bad, the expected to the unexpected, and the surprisingly disturbing to the downright fun, including Disney’s The Watcher In The Woods, cult-favourite The Monster Squad, 70s CFF chiller The Man From Nowhere and the British anthology series Dramarama Spooky.

Mommie Dearest (12A) + intro

Date: Sunday 5th August
Time: 5.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

Some films are so outrageous – so completely over-the-top – that they actually beggar belief. 1981 movie Mommie Dearest might be one of the most entertainingly outrageous films of all time, a mind-bogglingly crazy adaptation of Christina Crawford’s memoir about her abuse at the hands of her mother Joan that turns real-life pain into camp horror.

Faye Dunaway’s performance as Joan Crawford is still shocking today. Scenery is chewed up and spat out in a collection of bonkers scenes that have now afforded the film cult status, from Dunaway’s freak out about wire coat hangers to a laughably poor physical battle with her daughter, eyes popping and neck veins pulsating. It’s a role that effectively ended Dunaway’s career in a blaze of badly acted glory.

Now afforded camp classic status, (John Waters even supplied an audio commentary to the DVD release), Mommie Dearest has been embraced by the LGBTQ+ community, so we’re pleased to welcome SHOUT festival co-ordinator Adam Carver to introduce both the film and its queer legacy.

Psycho (15)

Date: Sunday 5th August
Time: 8.30pm
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs

‘Why, she wouldn’t even harm a fly…’

It’s always hard to imagine the impact of a film decades after its initial release, but it’s no exaggeration to say that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a true game-changer, killing off its lead halfway through and shocking audiences with a twist ending nobody saw coming.

Janet Leigh is the doomed star, a secretary on the lam who checks into a motel she’ll never check out of. Anthony Perkins is the fresh-faced motel manager, a boy with extreme mummy issues. With a gleeful Hitch at the helm, they changed cinematic history.

The film’s various innovations include the pivotal switching of audience identification figures and its adherence to the principles of psychoanalysis, leading to the emergence of a slew of psycho-thrillers and the gleefully disreputable ‘slasher’ genre. Put simply, there’d be no Michael Myers without Norman Bates.


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