Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pretty Little Liars: an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (pictures below)

While Pretty Little Liars revolves around a murder mystery, the overall tone of the show is generally girly and very.... abcfamily. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the show, but it's not exactly a show I'd expect to reference iconic works of film. That's why I was so shocked when the show's season 2 finale featured multiple, obvious, amazing, beautiful homages to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Psycho needs no introduction, but to those of you who may not know, Psycho is a groundbreaking film from 1960 directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock rose to fame because of the signature camera angles and framing he used to create a distinctly eerie and tense atmosphere in his films. His unique style led to the success of the film Psycho, a story of a woman who is stabbed to death at a secluded motel. Pretty Little Liars payed homage to Hitchcock's style in its own motel scene. Some shots from the episode were nearly identical to the motel scenes in Psycho. 

Here are a few screenshots comparing the two:

1. First, the iconic shower scene. Look at similarities in the shapes of the shower heads, the square tiles, the straight high pressure water.

Pretty Little Liars:


 Psycho:


2. Now for the murder scene (even if Hanna does get away). Look at the symmetrical balance between the creeper shadows behind the curtains and the women in front of the curtains in both scenes. Both women also have their heads slightly tilted, looking to the corners of the frames. Even the angles the water hits the women are the same.

 Psycho:


Pretty Little Liars:




3. Creeper holes. In Psycho, the motel owner creeps through a peep hole. In Pretty Little Liars, "A" creeps through the hole. Look at the similarities between the  holes in both frames: the jagged outter circles and the tiny inner holes. The direction the creepers are turned in relation to the walls are nearly the same, too, even keeping nearly identical framing.

Psycho:

 Pretty Little Liars:

4. Eating with the motel keeper. Anyone wonder why Spencer was eating with the motel owner? I believe the scene was added solely to pay homage to the famous eating scene in Psycho. Look at the delicate posture of the women in both frames the the teapots in the foregrounds. Notice the asymmetrical balance, as well.

Psycho:

Pretty Little Liars:



5. The creepy motel owner and taxidermy. The motel owners are wearing nearly the same outfits: light colored shirts under gray sweaters. In the backgrounds of both frames are eagles that have been taxidermized (yes, thats a word now). The men have the same haircut too...

Psycho:
 Pretty Little Liars:

6. Mother. This one will only make sense to those who have watched Psycho. I was really impressed by the painting in Pretty Little Liars.There is no mention of a mother in the show and the mother contributes nothing to the plot. However, the set designers or prop guys still went and painted  a woman who could believably be the mother of the inn keeper (Some photos of guy who played the inn keeper). Now that's dedication to an homage!


Pretty Little Liars:

Psycho: well...Im sure what she looks like in Psycho haunts your dreams.


These are some pretty detailed homages to Psycho, and I've never been prouder to be a Pretty Little Liars fan. I noticed these homages when the episode was first broadcast, and I checked twitter to see if anyone else had, too! Sadly, I didnt see any mentions of it and not many google searches showed any results either. I hope this post lets it be officially known that even if PLL has some cheesy and artificial moments, it still has honorable moments like these that pay respect to greats like Hitchcock.

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