Psycho

Psycho

37%
  • Psycho
    2 minutes 42 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Psycho Reviews

Page 1 of 159
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

June 2, 2011
Norman Bates: She might have fooled me, but she didn't fool my mother.

"Check in. Relax. Take a shower."

Not only is it argued that this Psycho is just a pointless remake of a brilliant classic; it is fact. There's no real reason for a shot by shot remake of Hitchcock's brilliant and influential piece of horror/psychological thriller history. As it is though, I still have a hard time hating it. It's well made, updated, and the theme of sexuality is more at the forefront, or at least more obvious. This is a movie that I neither like or dislike. It merely exists.

Norman runs the Bates Motel, and when Marion Crane, a woman who has just run from Phoenix with $400,000, stops by, things get interesting. There's no point in really talking about the plot any further than that because if you've seen the original, it's the exact same and if you haven't, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you, but definitely check out the original because it is one of the best movies ever made period.

I have a lot of respect for Gus Van Sant and the way he goes about making movies. He never expected this to be a well received movie, but it was a project that he personally wanted to do. You have to appreciate a filmmaker who is making films for himself and not a mass audience, and that is Gus Van Sant. So while I don't see a real reason for making this, I don't hate that he did. I don't believe he disrespected the original and if anything, it should serve as more of a tribute than anything. 

Hate it or tolerate it, Gus Van Sant's Psycho exists. The cast is pretty good, besides the fact that I didn't love Vince Vaughn as Norman. The Rest of the cast is pretty much perfect though, especially William H. Macy as the private detective. So I'm not going to recommend this, but if you are a big fan of the original and of Van Sant, it's not as worthless a movie as everyone would have you believe.
Mark B

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2013
Horror fans really should thank Gus Van Sant for his experimental "copy exactly" approach to re-making the horror classic Psycho. Just modernizing the original with a bigger budget takes no creativity and falls into the tedium and redundancy which most horror fan's hate. Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake, where nearly every scene is "copied exactly," is a perfect example of this. It was simply BORING.

Even for those that never saw this first, the pacing is just too slow for the high-octane generations of the 90's and beyond.

For a re-make to resonate with an audience that knows the original by heart, it has to deliver a new and different version while staying within the bounds of the original framework.

We should be thankful because no director will try this again. For the secret formula to successful horror re-makes, watch 2012's The Evil Dead, 2004's Dawn of the Dead or David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986).
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2010
A remake can be a good thing, though oftentimes they infringe on the original content and don't make a statement themselves. The 1998 remake of the classic Hitchcockian "Psycho" is not trying to make any bold statements throughout its run. Instead Van Sant decides to do a shot for shot remake of the film, using the same camera angles, cinematography, and only updating technology and references, yet not reinvisioning the characters. Still, none of the actors comes across as their original characters. Norman Bates was such a huge presence in the film, and he is the namesake of the film, so the other major characters came off as minor caricatures in Bates' little game of self-hatred and psychosis. Van Sant put in a lot of work trying to make his A-list stars recreate the tension and exhausting thrill of the original. Heche is so timid throughout, especially those shots of her headlong in the car which make her seem so small. Between her and Vaughan, the two of them seem like kids playing in their parents too big clothes. Vaughan also is wrong for this, but not because his performance was such a change from the original. Vaughan is wrong, wrong, wrong for this part in so many ways it boggles the mind. Besides not being able to pull off a serious role, he can't embody creepy. Perkins was creepy because of his slight, lean frame, his clawed fingers around that knife, buggered eyes, and though he was so quiet and calm throughout, the ending is only slightly a surprise, only lightly out of the realm of possibility. Moore is far too forceful, Macy stayed true to the original character but barely resonates, and Mortensen is clumsy as a let loose pig. The colors in this are post-modernist and glaring, as the blood dribbles onto white tiles, the Navajo sun over the desert stretch of highway, the deep red of the bathroom walls. It's disgustingly gluttonous and that's all because the original was in black and white Van Sant does do an impressive job of recreating the original sets, but it's just another instance of a complete copy. Some key scenes, including the disposal of the body, showing Marion slashed and torn apart by knife wounds, lost the insidious edge the film was at least trying to cultivate. Also, the fact that we never see Vaughan use the mother's voice, and it's off camera, was an obvious ploy to keep the heavy baritone of Vaughan's voice from coming off as cheesy in a fake old woman's croon. It's trying too hard to be the original, and even as an experiment it is beyond exhausting.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2008
One of the most curious films ever. I used to think that it was unthinkable to remake a film so classic, but this proved that all bets are off.

I do have to give some credit here. It takes a lot of guts to remake a film of this caliber and notoriety, let alone do it shot-for-shot and in color. However, as noble as this effort may be, it's really pretty pointless overall.

Some of the cast and performances are okay, but don't hold a candle to the original, which can be said of the film overall.

Van Sant said he made this simply so others wouldn't have to, and, while it is a curious experiment, I really can't give much of a reason for why it should exist.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2007
I will not bother in waste my time in writing a review about this piece of crap, I will only say... This is, per se, an above average film but why in the name of Bog was it made? It is impossible to treat it as a thing unto itself because it is a nearly shot-for-shot remake of an Alfred Hitchcock classic of 1960. You cannot watch it without the 1960 film nudging into your consciousness.

You do not try to remake perfection.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

August 21, 2011
Pointless, poorly constructed shot for shot remake of a masterwork that redefined a genre. First thing that I ask myself when I think of this remake is "what were they thinking?" A remake of Psycho, really? Vince Vaughn is a very bad actor in my book, and he really doesn't do justice to the character of Norman Bates. If you've seen the original, then you don't need to see this one, as this one is very predictable, and not fun to watch whatsoever. This film is an insult to the original, and proves that certain remakes definitely have no clue in creating a new angle on a story that has already been told. This is a poorly made film, and Gus Van Sant is pretty hit and miss as a director, Elephant and Milk were great films, but this is his worst picture. Horror fans will definitely not enjoy how pointless this film is. The acting is bad, the directing is sloppy and there's nothing to warrant a viewing this is bad and I absolutely hated this film, and I think this is one of the worst remakes that has ever been made. Definitely avoid this film, and watch the classic Psycho instead. At least that one had great directing, an effective plot and wonderful directing by a master of cinema. This one simply doesn't deliver. I view this film as a slap in the face of the original, and it's not a film that should be seen, only avoided. Don't expect something refreshing with this one, you won't find it, all you'll find is a big disappointment, and you'll want your two hours back.
Josh L

Super Reviewer

May 5, 2012
I'm not exactly sure why this movie was made considering it is the EXACT same movie as it was before...just in color and with current actors. All this will do is make people go back to the original and remember why it is a classic. Not that this movie is bad necessarily... it's not, but it is incredibly pointless. The actors did a good job and it's just as entertaining as the original in my opinion, but it just shouldn't have been made.
Graham J

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2011
In this age of bad remakes, is it really such a bad thing that Van Sant did a shot by shot remake of this classic? Though it still in no way compares to the original, it is an entertaining experiment. It's also cool to see the Bates Motel in color and some great performances. William H. Macy was perfect in the role of the Private Detective and the real show stealer is the speech at the end by Robert Forster playing the psychiatrist.
Jason C

Super Reviewer

August 26, 2011
Here's an exercise in futility. This was a shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film from the 60's. There were absolutely no chances taken here, and the film falls flat on it's face. Even though it traces Hitchcock's version, the talent is inferior, and the story feels out of place in a modern setting. I would have respected Van Sant a lot more if he would have at least attempted to make the material his own. If you want to see Psycho, watch Hitchcock's.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2011
First, let's get the actors' flaws out of the way: although Vince Vaughn does look somewhat like Anthony Perkins' 1960 Norman Bates, Anne Heche has no resemblance at all of Janet Leigh. And they really don't act all that greatly, either. From just seeing a few scenes of the 1998 PSYCHO remake, it is clear that this one is an exact, shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's thrilling classic. This, though new and in color, is not a classic. It is as if the filmmakers decided to take the original 1960 screenplay and use that without changing it at all--but wouldn't it make more sense to write another, different screenplay off the book this is based on? I guess they all overlooked that. So if the 1998 version of PSYCHO looks appealing to you, go ahead, but I advise you, it's basically the 1960 version, minus the good acting, minus the thrills, plus the color aspect. This is no match for the 1960 classic, and it is in no way a classic itself.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 4, 2009
Vince Vaughn likes to eat skittles.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

December 17, 2006
This remake of a classic Hitchcock movie is average, but very familiar scenes to the 1960 version and few lack of creepy. Did they honestly think Vince Vaughn was going to be as good or better than Anthony Perkins? No way. Anne Heche, with her short mannish-haircut, is going to be better than Janet Leigh? I don't think so!
Horror remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 Psycho.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2007
It's not that bad.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2010
Just a complete butchering of one of Hitchcock's masterpieces. I have absolutely no idea what Gus Van Sant was thinking when he decided that he was going to remake a classic with Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. It's best left unseen, even if you just want to see a complete piece of trash thrown together on screen.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2009
This is no homage to Hitchcock, this is theatrical blasphemy.
Screeny
Screeny

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2008
A Terrible remake. It makes Alfred Hitchocks old version look bad.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2008
I have to be honest, I couldn't sit through more than five minutes of this horrible piece of garbage. What kind of sick bastard would want to remake Psycho of all things? Hey, look it's got the same producer as The Cat in the Hat! That explains it all.
If anyone has seen the original film (which is a masterpiece) seeing actors replay the same script, yet put more emphasis on other words than their predecessors did in their lines makes ones bowels turn to water after five minutes of watching this grandiose drivel. I keep asking myself "Why?" and can't answer it. Imagine the Mona Lisa and having a five year old trace it out with Crayolas. That's what this film is.

Fan films are remade shot for shot. Not Hollywood films. This film was a complete waste of time to make and is a complete waste of time to watch.
DragonEyeMorrison
DragonEyeMorrison

Super Reviewer

February 3, 2008
Most pointless remake ever.
Drew S

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2007
As basically everyone has stated before, this is a completely pointless remake of a film that really never called for one. Even if Van Sant had the technical ability to make this a worthy movie (which he didn't, and probably still doesn't), there are still a ton of things working against him. One has to wonder why he even picked up the project at all.

The most poisonous problem is, obviously, the legacy of the original directly working against it. There's an odd thing I truly don't understand about remakes - when shit like Transformers gets picked up, everyone gets all excited and nostalgic about it. TMNT too but God help you if you liked that movie. Horror remakes, however, are almost universally reviled. I won't postulate on this because I honestly don't know why this is so, but it's interesting to view Van Sant's attempt at avoiding it. Quite simply, he films a shot-for-shot remake with some incredibly slight differences. As if terrified of disappointing the film's following, he packs a bunch of big names into what are effectively 10-minute roles and has them include extra flair so as not to be forgettable. Psycho reeks of trepidation, which dooms any movie from the start. And when it does make changes, they're usually for the worse. The infamous shower stabbing, for instance, is made far more violent, splashing the scene with extra blood and crunchy sound effects. An inevitable treatment for the late 90s. Also bizarre is watching Norman Bates...well, masturbate while watching hapless Marion through his little peep-hole. Another slightly amusing change is the removal of any mentions of transvestitism from the ending monologue. Psychology has really changed in 40 years, huh?

But even though it does preserve the screenplay and cinematography of the original, Van Sant fails on several levels. The performances he commands were doomed to be lost from the beginning. The actors delivering these lines find varying degrees of success, but all of them are uniformly overshadowed by the roles of the past. The worst is Anne Heche. She is predominantly bad, bringing this bizarre half-pixie, half-bitch quality to a Marion Crane that simply didn't call for it. Her miscasting is fatal; she is too goofy and airy for this role. She does have some okay scenes (she is interesting, if not obvious, during the dinner scene) but ultimately I actually found myself kind of glad that she died. Julianne Moore, as her sister, is the most modernized of the characters, attempting to bring a personality to the unmemorable Lila Crane. It comes off as a bit overexaggerated. William H. Macy is decent, as is a surprising Vince Vaughn. Sure, he'll never live up to Anthony Perkins, but he plays an interesting Bates. I also feel like a bad person for finding him incredibly hot. Whaaat?

Psycho's step into color is the most obvious change here, but it doesn't really enhance or augment the movie in any way. I could wax philosophical on how black and white movies are more meaningful because they make the images more vivid, but that would be pointless - a black and white movie in this day and age is generally financial suicide. Still, this movie was DOA no matter what Van Sant did to help it out. It's an interesting study on performances at the very least, but overall not worth the time.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

March 26, 2007
interesting...
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