Icons of Terror 2019: 20 Horror Movie Franchises Featuring Legendary Modern Monsters

The following pages analyze 125 horror films grouped in 20 franchises. These franchises feature an antagonist, or villain, who has been present in all or most films. These antagonists are so iconic that they have, in all cases, generated multiple sequels. All movies contained in this book are rated, ranked and compared to each other.

Psycho

A woman steals a large sum of money and hides in a motel owned by a strange man.
Psychological Thriller
Big Plot Twist
Horror for Beginners
United States
1960
Feature Film
Realism: 
Surreal
Black & White
Character Focus: 
Serial Killer Film
Stalker: 
Sneaker
Trespasser
Relative: 
Mother
Trickster: 
Impostor
8
A shower will not clean you from this film.
6
8
7.04
6
4
3
3
Dialogue
Effects
Plot
Psycho revolutionizes horror simply. It presents itself as a mere thriller, but turns into a kind of darkness unlike the science-fiction approach of the last decade; a time when terror was spectacular, monstrous, not so lethal, and more politically correct. Psycho breaks new grounds in regards to taboos, sexuality and deviance, and never resorts to filler despite being based on dialogue.
The camera work is superb. Hitchcock throws himself challenges that he executes perfectly, as an illusionist would. His techniques are mysterious, purposely complicated, and seem to wink at the student, casual and professional filmmaker and hardcore film fans. This is based on a book, but many freedoms are taken into making the content accessible, yet implicitly twisted.
The movie often asks us to reconsider our moral values and our initial judgment. Alfred Hitchcock slowly establishes horror through rigorous suspense, build-up and by structuring dialogue or blocking strategically and with perfect timing. If Psycho feels so familiar, it is probably because it exposes the ills of society, concentrating them on a few characters and questioning their innocence.
Alternate Titles: 
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
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Steve Hutchison reviews 50 of the best giant movies. Each film is analyzed and discussed with a synopsis and a rating. The movies are ranked from best to worst. How many have you seen?

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