Intertexuality is used to describe the similarities in films which have been inspired by a clip or scene from another film.
Films usually borrow ideas from other films and improvise on their own using the idea.
For example, a scene from a film may have the similar mise-en-scene, same camera angle or a bit of the sound or editing from another scene in their own.
Many thrillers have been inspired by the famous shower scene from PSYCHO (1960).
I will be analysing the scenes from What Lies Beneath, Fatal Attraction and The Stepfather and the aspects which have been borrowed from Psycho.
In What Lies Beneath, the man carries the woman into the bathroom and places her into the bath tub. Already we can realise the bathroom setting was borrowed from Psycho. The use of mise-en-scene such as the bathtub, the shower curtain, the taps and running water is inspired from Psycho.
The sound of the running water is another similarity.
Another similarity is that the man is in power as he attempts to kill the woman.
The camera shots are similar as there are many close up shots of the woman in the bathtub. The editing pace is slow unlike Psycho.
In Fatal Attraction the man is shown walking into a building. The camera follows him with an over the shoulder shot. He knocks on door which is opened by a woman and immediately begins to attack her. The woman runs through the house and into the bathroom. Again the bathroom scenario is borrowed.
The man is also powerful as he attacks and tries to kill the woman. However, The woman is the one to hold the knife, which is a part of the mise-en-scene inspired from Psycho. The music and fast editing pace causes tension and excitement.
In The Stepfather the man is chasing the woman in the house with a knife. The woman locks herself in the bathroom. The mirror in the bathroom shatters. Instead of a knife the broken glass is used. However there is a resemblance as the glass has the shape of a knife. The woman stabs the man. There is a difference to Psycho as the woman is now powerful.
As she stabs him, he falls into the bathtub and the shower curtain falls with him. The mise-en-scene from Psycho is used a lot in this scene. The stabbing was held in the bathroom just as in Psycho.
The music and fast editing pace plays an incredibly big role at creating tension.