Sunday, 13 February 2011


Intertextuality is a term used to describe visual references in film. Often, modern films use the same camera angles/shots, editing techniques, aspects of mise en scene, or music that has been used in iconic scenes, as a sort of

The best example of this is Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho', probably the most famous thriller of all time, as it features several camera angles, editing techniques, music motifs, and cuts which have been replicated in countless films since it was made in 1960.

‘Psycho’ is regarded as the first ‘slasher’ thriller, and its iconic shower scene has become one of the famous scenes in cinema history. Because of this, it is no surprise that countless films have made different intertextual references to the scene in their own way. The shower scene is so widely known that today whenever a shower is shown on screen, the audience know something bad is going to happen.

The opening of 'Succubus' is an example of just some of the many references to the famous shower scene that feature in many films. 

The first reference to Psycho is the shot of the shower head at 0:20, which is almost identical to the shot in the original film. Throughout the scene, we see the male character washing in the shower, unaware that there is another person nearby, until the shower door is flung open. This is also similar to Psycho, as  Marion does not know that there is anyone there until the curtain is pulled back. Also, the main prop used (the knife) is also looks very similar to the one used in Psycho. At  1:30, the music changes to a much more dramatic and intense sound, with percussive hits sounding every time the woman stabs the man. This is also another reference to Psycho, in particular the infamous high pitched string orchestra motif, which begins when Marion sees her attacker. At the end of both scenes, we see the victim sliding down the shower wall, covered in blood, dying slowly.

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