Favorite psychological horror movie: 'Psycho' or 'Silence of the Lambs'? | The Tylt

Favorite psychological horror movie: 'Psycho' or 'Silence of the Lambs'?

The brain is a freaky organ. Yes, in that way, but also in all the horrific things it can not only come up with, but do, too. That’s why the psychological sub-genre in horror films is a particularly terrifying strand—they not only get inside your head, but reveal how many head cases there are in the world. Take “Psycho,” a twisted piece all about serious mommy issues, or “Silence of the Lambs,” which has an FBI trainee surrounded by the criminally insane. Which one’s your favorite? 

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Sometimes it can feel as if everyhing’s been done in horror movies. The death you didn’t see coming? Done. Creepy kids doing creepy things? Done. The jump scare? Overdone. Turn the clock back to 1960, however, and the horror movie-going audience was completely unfamiliar with these tropes. Then “Psycho” came out. 

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“Psycho” is an Alfred Hitchcock film that further solidified his place as a psycho director all in his own right. The film stars Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, a lonely young man who’s left in charge of running a dingy old motel at the behest of his oppressive mother. After all the cut-to’s of Norman peeping in on female guests alone in their rooms and the arguments between himself and his mom, you’re left with a creepy feeling there’s something a lot more sinister going on. 

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Then there’s the ending. Man, that ending. And the beginning, actually, now that we think about it. Hitchcock was so adamant about preserving the first and final shocks, he actually posted a notice that it was required to see the movie from start to finish in the theater. Imagine trying to do that today? 
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Being a site of integrity, The Tylt will not publish any spoilers concerning the end of “Psycho.” We will, however, chide you for not seeing it, because it’s been nearly six decades since its release. Happy watching! 

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“Silence of the Lambs” kind of sounds like some sort of over-the-top PETA documentary (PETA? Over-the-top? Shocking.), but in reality, it's one of the most famous psychological thrillers of all times. Released in 1991, the movie follows FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who’s tasked with finding the person behind a series of vicious killings, known only as “Buffalo Bill.” Scarily enough, he’s not the craziest one featured in the movie.  

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See, the key to putting the pieces of the puzzle together is Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), whom Clarice regularly interviews to figure out who the real Buffalo Bill is. Thing is, Dr. Lecter is a confirmed cannibal locked up in a psych ward. He toys with her, the staff, the other inmates, and eventually escapes in the most savage way possible. Drop in some bureaucratic intrigue, and you have a storyline that’ll really chill you to the bone. 

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Similar to “Psycho,” the audience is forced to come to terms with the fact that all the criminally insane in the film—from Lecter to Bill to Miggs—are just people at the end of the day. They’re not supernatural, not monsters waiting to pop out from under your bed; they’re someone you’ve quite possibly passed on the street. Your senses may tingle when get close, but no one can really point out the true psychos until their deeds are done. Who really knew Ted Bundy was a serial killer until his face popped up on the six o’clock news, anyway? 

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The greatest part about “Silence of the Lambs” is that it forced those snots at the Academy to consider horror as a serious genre. The film swept its competitors that year, scoring not one but five Academy Awards total. Two of those awards were “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” to Hopkins and Foster, all because they knew how to aptly deliver lines about chianti pairings and growing up in West Virginia. Has the award stopped shining, Jodie?  

FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Favorite psychological horror movie: 'Psycho' or 'Silence of the Lambs'?
#PsychoFave
A festive crown for the winner
#SOTLFave