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Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

Norman Bates recalls his childhood with his abusive mother while fearing his unborn child will inherit his split personality disorder.



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Director: Gérard Kikoïne
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, Sarah Maur Thorp


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Schuster ...
Chet Rudolph (as Thomas Schuster)
Sharen Camille ...
Bobbi Evors ...
Kurt Paul ...
Louis Crume ...
George Emeric
Cynthia Garris ...
Ellen Stevens
Doreen Chalmers ...
Mrs. Lane
Mother (voice)


Norman Bates returns for this prequel, once more having mommy trouble. This time around he is invited to share memories of mom with a radio talk show host, but the PSYCHO fears that he may kill again for his beloved is impregnated with his child and Norman cannot let another PSYCHO loose in the civilized world. Written by Eric Creed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You've met Norman... now meet mother.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Psicosis IV: El comienzo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The house and motel used for the film were originally built in 1988 on the back lot of Universal Studios Florida. It remained there until 1998 when it was torn down. See more »


When Norman poisons his mother and her lover they die in the basement. In Psycho, we are told that they are found dead in bed. In addition, the container holding the tea is differ from the old one we see in Psycho II. See more »


Norman Bates: Connie!
See more »


Follows Psycho II (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Highly under-rated -- a fitting end to the series
13 May 2002 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

For those who like to nitpick, there are tons of continuity problems in this film from what was established in the other films. As a fan of the series, I noticed many of them myself during the first viewing. But if you look past all that, this truly is a fantastic film. More of a sequel to the original than to "Psycho III" (although they sort-of mention the last one), we get the backstory on Norma Bates -- the overbearing mother that drove her son insane. Told through flashback sequences while Norman is reminiscing to a radio-show host, this film delved into the mind of the man who's remembered as a monster and made him more of a sympathetic character -- though I think everyone who likes the series already took sympathy on the poor man. And we finally get to see what makes a madman mad....

Perkins, as always, was in top form playing the character that killed his career. Olivia Hussey was brilliant in the role of Norma. Hussey's performance was riveting -- kind and loving one moment, cruel and loathing the next -- a schizophrenic delight to watch. Henry Thomas did a wonderful job playing the young Norman, showing what the character was like before he went totally over the edge. And CCH Pounder as the radio-host with a heart gives a fantastic performance as the woman who knew what was going on but was helpless to do anything about it....

Now on to the gripes that people keep bringing up.... Yes, there are inconsistancies with events as they were described in the other films. But he's on a radio show -- does anyone who knows they're on the radio really tell the whole truth? Olivia Hussey has gotten flack for her accent -- though they never really say anywhere that she's American. Granted, the woman who played her sister in II & III didn't have an accent, but she's not really mentioned here.... And Henry Thomas has gotten reamed for not acting enough like Perkins did in the original -- but the first film took place after the events that occurred in this one. People do change and by the time the first film took place, he was totally off the deep end. If you forget about II & III and don't mind the incest themes, this is a wonderful sequel.

Finally, why isn't this one on DVD yet? The other three films have been on DVD for a while, including the cropped-screen release of III. I'd like to replace my crummy Goodtimes Video VHS....

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