Marion Crane steals a lot of cash from a man whom her boss is in business with. On the way to see her boyfriend, she stops off by an old motel, run by the odd Norman Bates. She is murdered in the shower. Her sister, boyfriend, and a private investigator try to find out where she is, while we learn more about Norman Bates. Written by
Jordan Sharp <email@example.com>
A sign for the Bates Motel reads "Newly Renovated." See more »
Some continuity errors were deliberately included, being copied from the original Psycho. See more »
Samuel 'Sam' Loomis:
You never did eat your lunch, did you?
I better get back to the office. These extended lunch hours give my boss excess acid.
Samuel 'Sam' Loomis:
Why don't you call your boss and tell him you're taking the rest of the afternoon off? Its Friday, anyway - and hot.
What do I do with my free afternoon? Walk you to the airport?
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Thanks to John Woo for use of his kitchen knife. See more »
No matter what other people have said you can't review this movie without comparing it to the original, if it existed on it's own it would be a 2-3 out of 5 film but it is a remake of a 4-5 out of 5 film and so has standards to live up to and we need to see if it reached those standards. If the film was a re-working or, as in Planet of the Apes, a re-imagining of the original you would be able to look at the film in it's own right, only referencing the original. Imagine it this way, if someone took the model in the 'Mona Lisa', posed her in a different way, and painted her you could only compare the framing,concept etc to the original but if someone just repainted her in the position of the original you would have to compare it totally.
That said this film doesn't just fail to be as good as the original it fails spectacularly, like it or not the original was one of the best movies ever made, the shower scene will never be forgotten, the remake was meant to be a celebration of Hitchcock but ended up actually degrading him and his master work.
The degrading aspects of this picture were Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche. It's nothing to do with wether they acted better or not it's that the relationship between Norman and Marion in the original was really quite innocent, Norman didn't really understand sex, he had hardly any contact with the outside world and when he meets beautiful Marion and watches her change you feel that he is partly doing it from fascination as he doesn't really understand sex and his attraction to her,this makes Norman sympathetic and almost an anti-hero, you are on his side because he doesn't fully understand the world and is constantly fighting with himself and his 'Mother'. In the remake that whole dynamic is gone, I must admit to Janet Leigh not being my type but she is very attractive and you can see that, Anne Heche is really unattractive and so Norman finding 'her' Marion attractive is unbelievable if you add that to Vince Vaughn's Norman masturbating whilst looking at her and you get a Norman that is just waiting for a chance to jack off at any naked woman no matter what she looks like, who you feel absolutely no sympathy for, they further destroy Norman's innocent nature by putting the porno mags in his room. It destroys a character that we have come to like and feel sorry for, it's like re-making 'It's a wonderful life' and having the main character a pimp, totally degrading.
The only other character that I had problems with was Rita Wilson as Caroline, Marion's workmate. In the original when Pat Hitchcock says the line 'he must have noticed my wedding ring' it elicits a response of laughter as she is absolutely kidding herself, when Rita says it it just seems plausible as there really isn't any other reason why any man would flirt with Anne Heche over her.
I'll admit that I am very biased, the original 'Psycho' is my favorite film of all time, had the film been a reworking, with a different angle, then you could have turned these characters on their heads and it would have been perfectly acceptable.
Hitch famously thaught the film would be too gory in colour and made it in black and white to lessen it. This also made the film more atmospheric and frightening in it's own way and it gave it a beauty that could never be captured in colour and it is a sad statement about how movies are de-sensetising the public that people have said how the shower scene was more frightening in colour. (n.b before people think 'he can't spell' remember I'm from England and we spell it colour)
A remake should be just that, re made, this is a forgery, a complete copy and a very bad one at that. I could go on comparing but there is no point, almost everything is superior in the original. The only one thing that is better is the performance of Viggo Mortensen as Sam Loomis, John Gavin was very flat in the original (Hitch called him 'The Stiff' behind his back) and Mortensen gives a more believable if less likeable performance. William H. Macy and Julianne Moore are the only other actors that hold up to the originals.
Overall a movie that should be labeled 'Expensive Embarrassing Failed Experiment. Only view if comparing to original or if original is unknown to you. But view original too' The movie would have got a 3 out of 5 if it were original or a reworking but as it is 0.5 out of 5 (for Macy, Moore and Mortensen)
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