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Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

TV Movie  -   -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  10 November 1990 (USA)
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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 PYSCHO fears that he ... See full summary »



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Title: Psycho IV: The Beginning (TV Movie 1990)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Donna Mitchell ...
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 PYSCHO fears that he may kill again for his beloved is impregnated with his child and Norman cannot let another PYSCHO loose in the civilized world. Written by Eric Creed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prequel | 1990s | 1950s | 1940s | paranoia | See more »


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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The only one of the Psycho sequels to use Bernard Herrmann's theme. See more »


In the original Psycho, Norman Bates said that the motel wasn't built until Mrs. Bates met her lover. In Psycho IV, the motel is built years before the two met. See more »


Fran Ambrose: Ed, are you all right?
[Norman nods]
Fran Ambrose: Ed?
Norman: I said yes.
Fran Ambrose: We didn't hear it.
Norman: I nodded.
Fran Ambrose: [smiling] We can't hear nods.
See more »


Follows Psycho III (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

A worthy TV movie
18 February 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

When I did my A-Level in film, we spent some time studying Alfred Hitchcock's original "Psycho" half way through the second term. Never having been somebody whose ever taken film studies particularly seriously, I brought up the subject of the "Psycho" sequels to my teacher on numerous occasions, something which always infuriated him! For, whilst the original 1960 "Psycho" is considered a masterpiece, its two sequels virtually disappeared without trace, and its third, a lowish budget TV movie entitled 'The beginning' managed to go straight to video in the UK. However, the strange aspect of "Psycho IV," is, that in many ways, it's a worthy film to study in light of analysing the first movie. Whilst it isn't a particularly good film, it manages to tie up a few loose ends and answer questions that arise in the original "Psycho," but never really get answered. This movie was also scripted by the screen-writer of the original masterpiece (Joseph Stephano), and the brilliant Anthony Perkins is also back on board as Norman....So, no, I think this is moderately worthy of at least some discussion or analysis, even if it has 'TV Movie' smeared all over it from start to finish.

Norman Bates (Perkins) is still alive and seemingly stable. However, his past still continues to haunt him, and, one evening, he decides to phone a local radio station and discuss his thoughts and feelings with the on-air DJ, as he waits for his girlfriend to return home from work. The radio-station topic is related to serial killers and murderers, so the DJ becomes immediately fascinated with Norman's call, especially when Norman begins to venture into his past. Over the next hour or so of the film, we witness the early years of Norman Bates, as seen through Norman's perspective, including his first murder, apparently triggered but his own incestuous feelings for his mother, and his mother's over-protective attitude towards him.

All in all, "Psycho IV" is entertaining enough. Rather than dishing out more of the same (Which part three did), this instalment (Almost certainly to be the last) decides to return to its origins, and does so quite succesfully. The incestuous story works quite well, and the wonderful Olivia Hussey is brilliant as Norman's mother. The film explores themes the original "Psycho" only hinted at (Perhaps one of the reasons as to why its regarded as such a masterwork), though, of course, under the direction of Mick Garris, it's unable to do this in the subtle and so very expertly handled way that Hitchcock was capable of.

But then again, this isn't a Hitchcock film, and it doesn't try to be. It's something entirely different, and considering the themes this movie is having to work with aren't exactly easy or conventional, the end result of "Psycho IV" is one of moderate success, which perhaps even dares to go a little further and more maturely forward than most TV movies might. Not bad.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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