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    Portrayal and music Essay (910 words)

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    Hitchcock was renowned for his skills in film making, when it came to suspense building. In this essay I will assess Camera shots, Symbolism, Character portrayal and music used in the film, these all create tension and suspense in the film. Throughout Frenzy and Psycho suspense was either being built up or maintained, this keeps the reader on the edge of their seats till the very end of the film. This creates a perfect murder thriller. Both films start off without any suspense this feeling is created by symbolism. In both films the sun is out and it is a nice day, this makes the audience feel good and there is no suspense.

    After this bit the sun is never out again which causes a ‘creepy’ affect always through both films. This creates a feeling of suspicion and an unstable affect in the audiences mind. After the sun has gone out straight away suspense is built in Frenzy a dead body is found and in Psycho an argument starts between two important characters and this changes the character portrayal, a way of building suspense. Hitchcock is very good when it comes to suspense climaxing camera angles and shots. He uses a large number of angles in a short space of time, when Marian is killed there is camera shots from all different angles around her.

    She is then killed the camera goes on an extreme close-up to her eye, this really shows the affect that murder has on the victim and how lifeless she is after the killing. He then uses the same method in Frenzy when looking at a dead body, he always looks at the eye to make it substantial that she is dead and lifeless. Symbols are used many times in both films, which is very good at building suspense. In psycho Norman is portrayed as a nice person by carrying Marian’s bags and making her a sandwich. He then takes her into the parlour, which is a very black with crows, which can symbolise death.

    Hitchcock really wants this affect so he can change the character portrayal many times to put different opinions of the character in to your mind. Then he is put at ease in your mind once again when he is nice to her once again and shows her to her room with her bags. He then looks through hole in the wall at Marian suspense is once again created around this character, this makes even more suspicion in your mind this happens to build suspense. The difference between Psycho and Frenzy is that in Frenzy the murderer is revealed a lot sooner than he is in Psycho. A body is found in the Thames and the suspense is created when the body is found.

    Suspense is then maintained for about fifteen minutes until the murderer is revealed to the audience. Suspense is then created when the wrong man is arrested by the police. You then want the police to arrest the murderer which gets the audience involved in the film which creates massive suspense, because Hitchcock wants you to get involved in the film. In the first scene of psycho Marian is in the car on the way to her destination. It gets dark in around five minutes then it starts to rain really fast the music then starts to play to create suspense. Hitchcock uses music and symbolism to create suspense.

    Her expressions are noticed and stands out. Hitchcock creates this affect by putting a white light on her face with a black background. This makes you take extra care and attention on Marians expressions. The windscreen can be seen from this camera angle and go back and forth in time with the fast paced music. In the second scene Norman carries his mother down the stairs. The camera is at a high point on the landing, which makes you think that his mother is really alive. Silence is then used to signify this point and make the audience take notice of what has just happened. Scene one in Frenzy the body is found in the water.

    The scene then goes onto Blaney putting on a tie, which puts a character portrayal of him straight away as the murderer this creates suspense. He is then portrayed as thief, when he has a drink all these things make you think he is the perfect murderer. Rust is portrayed as a nice man as he gives his friend some grapes and offers him money, the audience thinks he cant be the murderer he is too nice. In the second scene Babs stands outside the door and everything goes silent, once again he uses silence to signify this moment in the film. Behind her is Rusk, which creates suspicions straight away about him.

    Babs is the only one when she is walking through the street wearing red which could represent blood. She goes into Rusks flat and then silence is then used again to signify that moment in the film as a key moment. All these points I have made on Symbolism, Music, Camera angles/shots and character portrayal are what I think Alfred Hitchcock specialised in. That is why he used them in such and affective way to create the perfect Murder thriller film. He used suspense so many times in his films with such a good affect on the audience and characters which probably made him so famous in Murder thriller films.

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