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This image relates to the historical context of the time Psycho made. First of all, the dead corpse special effect is very impressive and would have been very scary for people in that era. During the time this film was made, the ‘Hays Code’ meant that horror had its violent images very heavily controlled. This is why this shot would have been so shocking to audiences during that historical context. Secondly, this is the part of the film when we find out that mother has been dead the whole time and that Norman has been dressing up as her and is the murderer. Before this film was made (in 1957) there was an incident in America where a man named ‘Ed Gein’ dressed up as his mother and killed people. The film Psycho is heavily based in this event and therefore relates to the historical context of its time thus made it scarier and more relatable to audiences at the time of its release. Janet Staiger says that we can only fully understand films if we understand what audiences are like when it is released. While modern audiences may not understand the reference to Ed Gein, the audiences is the 1960 would and this would have been very powerful.

Psycho Corpse Screen shot analysis  

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