Psycho III - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Psycho III Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 18, 2010
Picking up where Psycho II left off, the Bates Motel is again the site of some nasty doings as the rehabilitated Norman, who has installed a new ice machine, attempts to put his life back together. Old habits die hard, however, in this sequel marking the directorial debut of Anthony Perkins.

We open with a strange prologue in which nun-to-be Maureen (Diana Scarwid) denounces God, inadvertently causes the death of another nun, and runs away. Wandering through the desert, she?s picked up by greasy drifter Duane Duke (Jeff Fahey), who does not seem to get that she is not picking up on his advances because a) she used to live in a convent, and b) he is a greasy drifter.

Anyway, the two split ways, and we move on to the Bates Motel, where things have picked up right where the finale of Psycho II left off. (There is even a flashback in case you have forgotten how that one ended.) Our old pal Norman (Anthony Perkins ¿who else?) has posted a help wanted sign, and it is Duane who gets the job. Maureen shows up later, and Duane gives her the infamous cabin no. 1. But Norman cannot shake the feeling she is not Maureen, but Marion Crane.

As a movie, it is so-so. The film plays like a smart mystery poorly mixed with a dumb 80s slasher flick; there is one rather graphic murder scene that feels added in just to cash in on the horror trend of the time. It does not seem a part of the Psycho series. The other deaths, however, are right in line with the minimum-blood, suspense-over-gore technique.

The plot is a little nonexistent this time around. Norman seems to be falling for Maureen, and vice versa. Duane is a creep. A nosy reporter (Roberta Maxwell) has come to town to check up on Norman's rehabilitation. And mother?s been talking again.

That is all there is, really. Gone is the intricate mystery of Psycho II (I will not bother to compare this to the original Psycho; it would not be fair). In its place is a rather interesting, softer character study - can a mass murderer and a mentally unbalanced former religious type find love? - blended with a less engaging chain of killings. The screenplay, by Charles Edward Pogue, lacks the kick of the previous entries, as it does not contain the glorious surprises of those films.

Which brings me to those three key scenes. Two are just nifty bits that always catch my eye. In one, the famous shower scene is recreated nearly shot-for-shot... in a telephone booth. In the other, a body is hidden in the motel's ice machine; will the sheriff notice the ice he is sucking on has some blood on it.

It is the third key scene that really gets to me. It is yet another take on the shower scene, this time with Mother entering Maureen's room just as she did those many years ago. But the script throws us a curve, resulting in a move that is smarter than anything else in the movie. I will not tell you what it is (you shall have to see for yourself), but it is a scene that gets me every time.

Behind all this is Perkins, who, in addition to his reprisal of his most famous role, also marks his directorial debut. Perkins knows the material and seems to enjoy tinkering with the characters. His decision to have everyone play a little too over-the-top doesn?t quite work, as what is meant to come off as black humor often times comes off as merely Jeff Fahey not acting well. Still, Perkins? playful mood keeps the movie from sinking into an overly-serious zone, and some of the plot?s dumber moments are allowed to be tossed aside with tongue in cheek.

So just as Psycho II was a great movie on its own and a fair successor to Psycho, Psycho III is a decent movie on its own and a fair successor to Psycho II. Its not a great movie by any means, but any fan of the Hitchcock classic whose curiosity was snagged by ?Psycho II? should find something of interest to see here. It is not, as its ads once claimed, the most shocking of them all, but it does have enough clever bits to earn a recommendation.
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2012
This third entry is a slight step down from part two, but still manages to deliver enough thrills for what it is. Directed by lead actor Anthony Perkins, Psycho III is a satisfactory entry with nothing really new going for it. Despite this, there are all the signatures of what makes a Psycho film, minus the Alfred Hitchcock treatment. For what it is, it entertains, but mildly. Perkins seems to direct with uncertainty with the known fact that the original 1960 classic is so iconic not only in the horror genre, but in the cinematic medium. Despite this, Anthony Perkins directs a pretty decent flick that is fun, but lacks something to make it worth seeing again. The thing I liked about this film is that Perkins managed to convey the creepy atmosphere well enough by some well placed scenes and a good performance as Norman Bates. This flick will surely divide fans even more than the second sequel, but one thing is for sure, it's definitely not awful. As a directorial first for Anthony Perkins, he was able to convey a picture fun enough to make for a worthwhile Slasher. However, what bugs about the sequels is that though amusing to watch, it kind of ruins the suspense factor of the Hitchcock original by having a much higher body count and more blood. Even if it's a Psycho film, the films shouldn't be seen as just a Slasher outing because along with Peeping Tom, Psycho set the standard for the Slasher genre fifteen, twenty years later. These films were way ahead in their time and revolutionized horror cinema forever. Psycho III is entertaining, but can't be compared to the original due to the Slasher aspect of the film. Nonetheless, worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2012
Anthony Perkins jumps in the directors seat for this third installment, and he does a mighty fine job. There are still some rough parts around the edges, but for a first time this is great. It's obvious he is finding his own style by incorporating the skills and techniques of others. The cinematography has a very 80s, nostalgic feel, and is certainly taken from Blood Simple. Perkins also uses some tricks he seems to have picked up from Hitchcock. I love the toilet kill scene, as we see the roll of toilet paper roll down in a similar way to the shower curtain being pulled in the first film. The film picks up where number 2 left off, with Norman having reverted to his old ways after his real mother confronted him. This means there is a true lack of mysterious suspense surrounding the film. Having seen the second film, Bates is still a character to root for, as we know he has the capabilities to be good, but it's the insanity around him that causes him to slip. There are many parts that feel forced, and it smells of studio interference. The last shot, for example, completely undoes the ending and what it should have represented. A great addition for a rather surprisingly awesome trilogy.
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2010
A pretty good sequel to the sequel of Psycho, it continues the story, but I didn't like the ending. Of course, Perkins is great once again, but the rest of the cast could be better. It's interesting to see Perkins direct, though.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2007
An young woman by the name of Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid) was training to be an nun but she has lost her faith. Also she tries to commit suicide, one nun tries to save her but she died accidentally. She leaves the convent and search for an new life. Norman Bates (The late Anthony Perkins) tries to live an normal life and trying to run his motel. But he hears his late mother talking in his head again. When an sleazy wannabe Rock & Roll singer by the name by Dwayne Duke (Jeff Fahey) decides to take an job at the Bates Motel, just working long enough to get some money to get to Los Angeles. But when Norman meets Maureen at the diner, it reminds Norman of his previous victim Marion Crane (The late Janet Leigh). When she decides to stay at his motel for the night and Norman is dressing up like his mother to kill Maureen. But Maureen tries to commit suicide and Norman ended up saving her. But when an obnoxious noisy reporter (Robert Maxwell) is bothering Norman and she is trying to find out, what happen to Emma Spool, who claimed to be Norman's mother.

Directed by Perkins, this is an enjoyable dark comedy with some slasher 80's moments but it's lacks mystery and suspense of "Psycho" and "Psycho 2". Perkins is game as always as Norman Bates and he has some humorous moments. Scarwid and Fahey did good job on their roles. While Maxwell does her part well but she is kinda annoying in the movie. Although an minor box office disappointment. "Psycho 3" went on to have an cult following. As his directorial debut, Perkins directed some stylish sequences and he gives tributes to the first "Psycho".

In the end "Psycho 3" does have its ups and downs but it is certainly amusing for die-hard fans of the series. On a side note, originally the script by Charles Edward Pogue was much darker. Dwayne Duke was a killer, who was obsessed with Norman and Maureen Coyle was going to be the new psychologist for Norman. In some ways, that version of that movie, if it was made. It could be been better but Universal rejected the ideas. Some film critics and fans of the series certainly liked "Psycho 3" more than "Psycho 2". So judge it for yourself.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2010
Not quite as impressive as the previous sequel, but interesting nonetheless.
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2007
When you do 2 sequels to a classic....there's a good chance that you'll fuck up....but they didn't
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2006
The spirit of Hitchcock's original (on which Psycho III heavily leans upon) was as dead as he was at this point. I caught a few Bava influenced shots from Tony Perkins directorial playbook and that was really the most that this movie had going for it. I saw this maybe 15 times the summer I was 12 and a majority of the 2 stars I'm throwing this movie are from a nostalgic standpoint.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2007
I liked this movie quite a bit. It has humour and horror, with enough twists to keep it interesting. There's cool music too. Norman meets a fallen nun who looks like Marion Crane, the woman he killed in the shower in the first film. There's a weird rockabilly guy working for him, a school homecoming party, a nosey reporter, and Norman's new "Mother" threatening Norman's sanity. The death effects are wonderfully gorey. It's a treat.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2007
Second follow-up to Psycho works manly because actor-director Anthony Perkins understands poor Norman Bates inside and out.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2013
The Psycho series outstays its welcome with a third installment of madness. When Norman takes a liking to a disillusioned nun who's come to stay at the Bates Motel, Mother gets upset and people start disappearing. The plot is incredibly contrived and really doesn't add anything to the series. The directing also underperforms, as Anthony Perkins takes the helm and is unable to deliver the suspense or intensity that the previous films had. What started out as a classic has turned into mindless tripe with Psycho III.
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2011
'Psycho III' has some very intriguing moments and pays beautiful homages to Hitchcocks original film, also featuring yet another fabulous performance by Anthony Perkins.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2011
Anthony Perkins not only returns as Norman Bates, but he steps behind the camera for the third installment in the Psycho franchise.
If we can be honest for a minute. Trying to make a sequel to a Hitchcock movie is gonna be hard no matter how good a filmmaker you are. I like this movie because Perkins is probably the only other person besides Hitchcock, that gets the character of Norman Bates. In this aspect he succeeds very well in adding to the depth of this iconic character. No it isn't the best movie, but if Anthony Perkins wants to play Norman Bates a few more times. Then I will gladly fork out the money to see it.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2008
I don't really feel that there was a need to do another one but I'd have to say that Anthony Perkins still gives me the chills.
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2007
Some great moments.
April 15, 2013
As with the first sequel, Psycho III is by no means Hitchcock, but it does still manage to be a relatively engaging slasher film with lots of brutal deaths and psychological intrigue. Perkins stars in and directs this rather unoriginal but still somehow engaging slasher film. Why they keep letting Norman out of the mental asylum and allowing him to return to his mother's house and the hotel is anybody's guess....
January 3, 2013
When I was a kid I caught this on TV and thought it was pretty freaky and then rented it soon afterwards and was bored. The first one is beyond classic though and this tries too hard to be more 80's horror than the suspense based pacing of the original.
½ November 9, 2010
Perkins is behind the camera this time around, directing the 2nd sequel which is loaded with bizarre sexuality, even more fractured supporting characters and Norman Bates trying to return to his 'normal' life, which is a relative term in his case.

Jeff Fahey gives a great sleazy performance as a drifter who starts trying to exploit Norman's strange quirks and gets more than he bargained for.

Well worth a rental, fun stuff.
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