Psycho (1960)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

When larcenous real estate clerk Marion Crane goes on the lam with a wad of cash and hopes of starting a new life, she ends up at the notorious Bates Motel, where manager Norman Bates cares for his housebound mother.

Although not intended on any level as a political film, Psycho’s shocking first-act twist—in which the Hitchcock blonde gets offed before anybody could have reasonably expected it—can be seen retrospectively as a weirdly apt foreshock of the Kennedy assassination. […] Just as Psycho forges our complicity with a series of flawed characters without ever giving us a compelling, decisive hero to root for, The Birds is fascinating as a movie with a cast made up exclusively of victims. Its characters can’t defeat the birds dive-bombing them at every turn; they can only run and hide through an increasingly barren and depopulated landscape that Hitchcock renders with a terrifying, slightly exaggerated clarity. (Somewhere, George Romero was taking notes for his zombie classics.)

Adam Nayman (The Ringer)