Study Guide

Psycho Shock Rating

Shock Rating


Psycho is not a movie for kids. Or for the faint of heart. Or for people who take showers. (We've become best buddies with bubble bath since watching Psycho.)

The movieis currently rated R, though some have argued it should be PG-13. Either way, it's got a lot of shocking bits… at least by 1960 standards.

As far as sex goes, the film gratuitously and repeatedly shows Janet Leigh in her underwear, before she strips down to the altogether to get bloodily stabbed to death. It's true you don't see any explicit naughty bits—but naughty bits are very much implied.

And the sex pales next to the violence. There are multiple vicious stabbings, complete with screaming and black blood swirling down the drain.

Psycho is meant to shock you, and it does a pretty good job of it. Sure, there are many more explicit horror films today. But all those slashers that include topless co-eds being dismembered in horrible ways, were inspired by Psycho… and you can still see why.

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