Some of my earliest horror memories are of my mother telling me about scary movies she saw when she was younger-the ones that frightened her the most, she said were The Haunting and Psycho. She would tell me ('cause I bugged her to death about them) what she could remember about the plots, but, as a brief aside, this is a woman who doesn't like to watch a car chase. She finds any amount of suspense too nerve-wracking, so I wonder to this day how she endured those two movies.

Finally, after seeing brief clips of it from time to time on TV "great horror films"-type shows, I got to rent it from the video store at age, oh, 10 or 11, under the condition that my mother wasn't even in the house when I watched it.

I have been a rabid fan of the film, Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, and Norman's creepy old house ever since. Thankfully, the clips I had seen gave no hint as to the film's conclusion, and I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. I sat in shock as the tape ran out and the TV went to snow...and that smile at the very end has haunted me to this day.

The sequels were, at best-fun(2 and 4), at worst-terrible(3), but do not even come close to that original snap ending. Truly, one of the main tributaries of the river that we call modern horror.



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