Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake of 'Psycho' was an interesting experiment that failed, despite being a reverent, shot-for-shot remake. The reason was simple: It's impossible for us to be that shocked, surprised and horrified a second time. Not just because we know what's coming, but because we can't forget what we know and imagine what moviegoing was like before 'Psycho' changed the rules. We live in the world 'Psycho' made, and we can't go back.
The history of horror filmmaking, and maybe Hollywood filmmaking in general, can be split into two parts: before June 16, 1960 (the day 50 years ago when 'Psycho' was released) and after. With 'Psycho,' director Alfred Hitchcock pulled the rug out from underneath audiences (and other filmmakers), and we've been reeling ever since. Here are some of the reasons 'Psycho' had such a huge impact, and why, half a century later, it retains its power to terrify and delight us.