Alfred Hitchcock was born in London, England, on August 13th, 1899 and later on died in April 29,1980. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most famous directors and was classified as the ‘Master of Suspense.’ Before Hitchcock all the films were either silent or just stories and there were never horrors. Alfred Hitchcock would bring a type of suspense to his films that no one had ever seen.
A technique that Hitchcock used was to trap the audience in suspense and never let the scene end the way they would expect it to. Hitchcock always liked to confuse the audience, for example: he would make all the characters have unexpected personalities contrasting to their looks, so that the audience doesn’t know what to expect. Hitchcock never made the ‘camera a camera’ he decided that the camera should be like a human, this means that it should look at things like a human would do. His idea having the camera act as human would help immensely when films did not have sound, because visuals were the only form of communicating with the audience.
One of the few but frequent techniques that Alfred Hitchcock would use, would be to add humor into his movies to create tension in scenes. Hitchcock felt that humor was a key to his movies that kept the audience coming back for more. I agree with this, even though I haven’t seen his movies I can still understand from looking at videos about his movies and researching about him, that the audience loved his movies and would always want more.
So what is suspense? Suspense is the element of both fiction and some nonfiction that makes the reader uncertain about the outcome, it can also be created through different elements in a story, including the title, characters, plot, time restrictions and word choice.
Alfred Hitchcock was inspired by his surroundings, childhood and English murders. When Hitchcock became a director he started by making horror films. For example one the inspirations for English murder was shown in ‘Jack the Ripper’. To show how dark Alfred Hitchcock was but also how funny he was, here is a quote by him: “I have a perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it”. In this quote we can see that he has a simple solution to a simple problem, but when we see his answer we are all shocked but once we realise what he’s saying it is funny in a weird way.
One of Hitchcock’s most famous ‘thriller’ movie was Psycho. Psycho which was released in the 1960s and was known to be the scariest horror movie at its time, making people feel disgusted, shocked and mentally disturbed. The film is about a young woman, named Marion, who steals $40,000 from her employees client and goes on the run so that her and her lover may be together. In doing this, Marion stays at the “Bates Motel” a motel that is off the main road. The film becomes intense when the runner of the motel, Norman Bates, becomes a main character and is found to be under the domination of his mother, causing problems for Marion.
Some tactics that Hitchcock use in this film were: One of them was this shrieking music that adds to the feeling of suspense that is created during the scene. A second tactic was the scenery, Hitchcock had to make the house and the surroundings look disturbing in order to persuade the audience that the film and the overall setting was disturbing.
The weather was another tactic that Hitchcock would use, each time when something grim or bad was going to happen, it would either rain or a storm could be heard in the background, this would make the crowd think not only something bad was going to happen but also that they were part of the movie. Another mysterious and interesting fact was that whenever a victim was about to be killed you would never actually see them being stabbed.
Later on in 1963 Alfred Hitchcock released another film called ‘The Birds’. The birds is the apocalyptic story of a coastal town in California filled with a seemingly unexplained chaotic attack of ordinary birds (not birds of prey). An interesting way in which Hitchcock uses the light to trick people: The audience believe the film is a comedy because it is incredibly ordinary and because of the use of bright lights and warm colours. The audience is already confused because normally an Alfred Hitchcock’s movie would be a horror right? This means that the suspense is already building from the very start of the movie, because the audience doesn’t know what to expect. There is a scene in the film where the old woman talks about the scientific facts concerning the birds, we can see that their are bright colors and vivid lighting, but once the birds start to attack the light starts to disappear and becomes darker. Hitchcock uses lighting all through this film to cause suspense.
A funny fact about Hitchcock ‘The master of suspense’ was that he would never watch his own films. “I’m frightened of my own movies. I never go to see them. I don’t know how people can bear to watch my movies,” he was quoted as saying during an interview in 1963.
To conclude I think that Alfred Hitchcock was one of the best directors to create suspense in many different ways. I think that Psycho was his best ‘thriller’ film, because it was the best at creating suspense in a lot of different ways, the fact that the film was in black and white made it scarier and creepy. Alfred Hitchcock’s movies will always be considered as some of the most revolutionary works of art. Hitchcock is given the title as The Master of Suspense and in my opinion it should always be with him.