Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Anthony Perkins,Meg Tilly and Vera Miles
Film #104 of the December project
I remember when I first heard that there were three sequels to 'Psycho' and not being able to comprehend it, why on earth would they make a sequel to one of the greatest films ever made ? especially 23 years after the original and without Hitchcock! This was a disastrous idea, it would be almost as ridiculous as making a scene for scene remake of 'Psycho' (what a sickening thought). For all intensive purposes, 'Psycho II' should be one of the most hated films of all time,but ill be damned if it isn't one of the most underrated and enjoyable slasher sequels ever made.
After 22 years of being incarcerated in a mental institution, Norman Bates is released back into society. After Norman attempts to lead a normal life, grizzly and familiar crimes start up once again but is it Norman whom is the perpetrator...or is it his mother ?
I remember preparing to watch this film for the first time, 'Psycho' is one of my favorite films of all time and I had to get myself in the right state of mind and convince myself this was not going to be the quality of Hitchcock. Despite that, I honestly did not appreciate 'Psycho II'. Several months later I rewatched the film out of the blue, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it this time, and after today's viewing I can now confidently say that 'Psycho II' is one of the finest Horror sequels.
Like Brian De Palma, Director Richard Franklin is a filmmaker whose has constantly emulated Alfred Hitchcock's style throughout his career, If you have ever seen Franklin's 'Road Games' you will know what I mean, its an awesome film that is basically 'Rear Window' on the Australian highway. Franklin was a great choice to direct the sequel to Hitchcock's classic, and he does a fine job too creating a film that pays homage as well as giving a unique experience of its own. The film is usually thrilling and exciting.
The film is written by Tom Holland, the man behind the cult classic 'Fright Night', his script is a little baffling at times and can usually become a little clustered and convoluted. There is too many twists revealed at the end of the film that change details from the original. I can appreciate the ambitiousness utilized and the fact that it is trying to be different, but Holland's broad script is a world away from Joseph Stephano's brilliantly subtle and terrifying script from the original.
With all its flaws in mind, 'Psycho II' is still a really fun and enjoyable film, its not scary per say but it is exciting and will keep you guessing. There is a couple of inventive kills throughout that are really quite effective
The most vital part of a 'Psycho' film is indeed Norman Bates,Anthony Perkins who gives yet another great portrayal of my personal favorite film character, but his intentions are different this time as hes portrayed as more of a sympathetic protagonist which is a nice twist on the character. Meg Tilly is okay in the film, but is honestly a little too bland, and it was great to see Vera Miles back as Lila Loomis.
I'm amazed at how much 'Psycho II' has a grown on me, its a constantly enjoyable slasher, that is both exciting and fun. The film is of course worlds away from the original but this may be the best possible and most fitting sequel to Hitchcock's immortal classic.