Alfred Hitchcock is known as the Master of Suspense, a prolific filmmaker with a penchant for deliberate, systematically executed thrillers that never failed to get under the skin of the audience. His films do not shy away from the more violent or classical aspects of genres like horror, instead using them to augment the creeping, psychological peculiarity at the core of his films.
In 1954, Hitchcock put on one of his best displays in Rear Window, which film criticism luminary Roger Ebert called “the thriller equivalent of foreplay.” The scope of the exposition, in large part limited to what we can see through the eyes of the wheelchair-bound protagonist who believes he has witnessed a murder through his rear window, makes the audience painfully aware of the slow-burn pace.
This precise execution creates a sense of suspense that borders on desperate impatience. The audience, like Jeff, feels as though it is trapped, and feels a profound sense of release when the pieces come together in the final confrontation. Though Jeff does get pushed (non-fatally) out of his window during this climax, the moment symbolically puts the “free” in free-fall.