Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Pairing of Halloween and Psycho

Fifty years ago today, I spent the afternoon decorating the Fairview Community Hall for a Harvest Ball to be held the next night - Halloween. All Hallows Eve was not the holiday it is today, which is why it was called a Harvest Ball. The decorations were fall themed, not Halloween horrors. As usual, my anticipation of the fun I would have at the party was much greater than the reality. I wrote in my diary the next night: "It was okay, I guess."
After an afternoon of decorating, going to a movie was a lot more exciting - especially when the movie was Alfred Hitchcock's much touted Psycho. A scary movie the night before Halloween would be perfect. The rule that "No one will be admitted after the start of the movie!", added to the drama.
I did think it was odd that the movie was in black and white when all the movies had been in technicolor for years. I definitely was not prepared for the pure terror Psycho engendered. I was not prepared for the star of the film, Janet Leigh, to be killed off so soon - well, not at all, actually. And to have her killed in such a dramatic, scary way - the famous shower scene - was almost too much.
I went home that night and wrote in my diary: "Went to show tonight. Psycho! Oh, man! It was really spooky." The next day I noted how tired I was because I, "Didn't get to sleep till one last night."
The movie was nominated for four academy awards. It is still a classic and probably Hitchcock's most memorable movie. "A boy's best friend is his mother."
(In one of those odd coincidences, we were watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel last night where I learned that chocolate syrup was used as the blood in the shower scene.)
I like reading psychological thrillers, maybe it is time to watch one? I wonder if Psycho is running on any of the movie channels this weekend?

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