It shows that children, who we expect to be innocent and trusting, can have a very dark side, and that can be horrifying, although I wouldn't really call this a "horror" film, either. I would call this a psychological thriller with a twisted ending. This film doesn't have a lot of the elements of many horror films, although Rhoda could certainly be seen as a monster stalking her prey, anyone who has something she wants. The real focus of the film is her mother, Christine, who can't face what her daughter has done, or do the right thing, such as turning her in to the authorities. Instead, she blames herself, tries to kill her daughter with sleeping pills, and then tries to commit suicide. No wonder the daughter has problems!
Like the other films, this film has a message, too, and it has to do with children and what they're capable of, along with responsibility and legalities in society. The schoolteacher knows something is terribly wrong, but won't come out and say it because of liability, and Christine knows something is wrong, but won't face up to it when she finds out it's true. Her daughter is a monster, and she should have turned her into the authorities, if for nothing else to prevent her from murdering again. She should know that's the right thing to do, even if it is her own daughter. Other than that, this film wasn't that horrifying. Sure, it's horrifying that a little girl could be so hateful and destructive, but I think it's more horrifying that her mother wouldn't turn her in. The situations in the film weren't frightening, and while the premise was dark, it really didn't have a lot in common with most other horror films, even in this assignment. I think the message was more psychological, and while you can certainly have psychological horror stories, this just didn't seem to fit. I thought the film was good, but I just wasn't that frightened, and I would like to be frightened when I view a horror film.
This is probably the most famous of all these films, and certainly one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous films. This is more of a classic horror film, but it could be called a psychological thriller, too. I think the shower scene is one of the most famous in the world, along with the accompanying music, and Anthony Perkins is a very convincing crazed monster stalking innocent victims. Hitchcock knows how to build the suspense and then surprise everyone with an unexpected ending, which makes this film so memorable.
What's interesting about this film is the heroine, who is totally unsympathetic as a young woman on the run with her employer's money. However, she becomes more sympathetic (she must, for the audience to root for her), as she is torn about returning it, and as she is attacked by Norman's "mother." This film is not as much horrifying as it is suspenseful and surprising, which are two of Hitchcock's trademarks. The audience wants to find out just what happens and how the killer will get caught, rather than being scared out of their wits. This film has elements of horror, but it still doesn't have enough for me to call it a true horror film. Again, I want to be scared out of my wits, not deducing a crime when I watch a horror film. In most horror films, we know who did it, and how they did it, and the main element is will they do it again or get caught while they terrorize a community. In this case, the community really wasn't terrorized. Norman didn't attack any one until Marion stops at the hotel, and he doesn't rampage through the community after. He's a crazed killer, and a monster, but other than that, he's not that frightening. The most frightening aspect of the film may be the fact that he thinks he's his mother and he's totally crazy, but that is the ending, and so the film builds up to that crescendo. That is suspense, not horror, and like most of these films, I would watch them because they are interesting and suspenseful, but not because they were horror…