Psycho is known for the shock of killing of its most recognized star in Janet Leigh, in the infamous shower scene early on in the film as the audience is suddenly jolted from a false sense of security as what they thought they had known being turned on its head. The image stands as a haunting reflection of victimization showing the victim with her dead stare penetrating the viewer. It is a powerful image in it’s stillness following the quick editing and cuts in the scene.
The crack in the original posters title is symbolic for being the fracturing of the psych. This fracturing can also be seen in the credit sequence when lines dash across the screen to the soundtrack. This element has been utilized on the poster, demonstrating the fractured nature of the film, and the main character, Norman Bates, split personality.
The film is shot entirely in muted black and white, but the poster incorporates the color red as a reference to the blood from the controversial shower scene.