479. Psycho III (1986)

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3.4 Painfully disappointing
  • Acting 3.7
  • Directing 3.4
  • Story 3.0
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey

Director: Anthony Perkins

Running Time: 93 mins


Psycho 3 is an American film, and the third in the Psycho franchise. After escaping arrest in Psycho II, Norman Bates continues running his motel, and hires a young man to help him, while a former nun checks in, as does a nosy reporter, and soon, history begins to repeat itself. Again.

Surely there’s a point where history stops repeating itself, because I really am getting fed up with it. It just seems to me as if this series didn’t need to go this long, because this film is purely a blatant copy of the previous two films, meaning it’s not at all exciting to watch.

Now with almost all of the focus of the story on Norman Bates, you’d expect a little deeper look-in to his psychotic character, however that doesn’t happen. In this film, Norman actually becomes a lot more human, seeing as he’s having full-blown relationships for the second film in a row, and there’s a lot less of the psychological battle with himself that made the original so scary and exciting.

Another poor point of the story is that it becomes just too busy. The brilliance of the first film, and in part, the second, was that the Bates Motel was a solitary, helpless place; if you went in, you’d never come out, but here, you get tons of random people turning up, which completely destroys that atmosphere.

Also, the problem with these extras is that they all turn up and immediately assume that they are the most important character in the story, which leaves you frantically looking back and forth at characters to pick one that’s at all interesting to watch (of which none of them are), which means you actually can’t follow the story.

The pacing of this film is also unbelievably poor. Even the version made in 1960, when films were naturally a little slower than in 1986, was faster than this, and comparing this to the 1983 version makes Psycho II look like a rocket travelling at Warp Factor 9, so this film is dull and ultimately so unimpressive it’s tiring.

Another disappointment is the fact that this has no originality in it at all. At least Psycho II took some license from the first film, but this just blatantly copies parts of the first two films, in terms of storyline, dialogue and even cinematography, which is not very impressive to see.

The worst thing it copies, though, is the ‘history repeating itself’ problem. Honestly, when you’re watching a near identical story for the third time (a murder mystery which you already know the answer to), it really is boring and predictable, and that takes away all of the tension, excitement and horror that made the original so great, and because of that, I’ll give this a 3.4.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com