You see, there's this motel... and in this one particular hotel room, there's a shower.
You'd be forgiven for not wanting to venture much further.
The Shower Scene
Full disclosure, I didn't see this scene until I was 22. My brother and I were sitting around watching TV, and Psycho came on. Fair enough, our parents said it was creepy, why not give it a try? We knew what the gig was - Norman's his mom. Cute chicks get stabbed. Crazy violins!
I'm not going to act like I was horrified or anything (we've established that the list of movies to do that is... slim) but I was amazed at the tension the scene builds, even when one knows what's about to happen. Hitchcock does some amazing things in that movie to increase the tension, putting the shower scene in almost feels like a copout.
...until you check out the alternative.
It's a fairly accurate shot for shot remake, and it holds nearly none of the tension - none of the intrigue. This isn't about me elevating a beloved classic that frightened the wits out of me by catching me unawares. I knew just as much going into the original as I did going into the remake. One is simply better than the other.
So much so that it deserves a place on this list.
Now that you've suffered through the remake, here's the original, in all its glory.