The castrating mother is central to Dario Argento's Deep Red. She is introduced in the credits sequence where the peoples hear a child's nursery rhyme set against Christmas tree. Shadows thrown on to the wall behind the tree reveal two people engaged in a life-and-death struggle. Psycho, one of most influential horror films ever made, provides us with an exemplary study of the horror that ensues when the son feels threatened, physically and psychically, by the maternal figure. Norman Bates's desire to become the mother is motivated not by love but by fear: he wants to become mother in order to prevent his own castration – to castrate rather than be castrated. The association of mother with birds of prey who attack children is not unique to Psycho. In classical mythology, the striges were women with the bodies of birds and the clawed feet of vultures; they flew out at night to suck blood of children and eat their flesh.