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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Hitchcock's Psycho at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Although there is a lively debate on whether Vertigo or Psycho holds the title as Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, I tend to lean toward neither, preferring North by Northwest or Rear Window. Regardless of your personal preference, Psycho is undoubtedly the perfect choice for a Summer screening at a cemetery. And come this Saturday, August 27th, you can experience just that at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Surrounded by the haunting presence of Hollywood’s past, you can bask in the ghoulish atmosphere as Anthony Perkins performs his signature role. And even though the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located next to Paramount, a rival studio (Universal produced most of the macabre masters films) I think Hitchcock would be pleased with the whole idea of the living entertaining themselves while seated amongst the dead. In fact, it would probably tickle his very dark funny bone, since he thought of Psycho not as a scary movie, but a black comedy. That’s somewhat of a stretch perhaps, but after all there is quite a bit of ironic dialogue mixed in with the suspense ('mother is not herself today').

What I particularly like about the master’s only true horror film is its timelessness. Because it was made on a relatively small budget the film lacks any overt production values that place it at any given time. That is once you get past the women’s hairstyles and the make of automobiles. No money usually equates to ingenuity, and all great directors perform at the height of their powers when forced to be clever by budgetary constraints. The result here is just plain old fashioned scares achieved by simple, but great filmmaking.

So if you want a fun night of thrills (on and off the screen) come out to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Saturday. It’s still just a $10 donation per person at the gate, and if you don’t feel like searching for street parking another $10 will get your car in, or get your parking and tickets ahead of time online (link). As usual, reservation aren’t necessary, but it is recommended that you get there early. Even though the gates don’t open until 7:00 for the 8:30pm screening, I’ve seen the line begin to form as early as 4:30 in the afternoon.

So, you’ll definitely want to bring an ample supply of goodies that will do you both before and during the show. Remember, you can bring anything you like with you into the cemetery, but as a courtesy to other movie-goers leave the tall chairs at home. And when you’re packing the blanket you’ll be spreading out on the ground, add an extra one for bundling up with after the sun goes down. It may still be Summer, but it gets down right chilly in the cemetery at night.

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