Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly
Director: Richard Franklin
Running Time: 113 mins
Psycho 2 is an American film and the follow-up to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. After 22 years in psychiatry, Norman Bates is released from prison to return to his old Victorian house, next to his infamous motel, where history begins to repeat itself.
This film wasn’t actually as bad as it could have been. Obviously, you’ve got the shadow of the original looming over this, which means it’s never particularly impressive to watch, however it has some originality, as well as its own frightening moments that you could perhaps compare to the 1960 film.
However, I’m going to start with the most disappointing aspect of the film, which is the fact that it’s in colour. Although the original was made in black-and-white mainly for budgetary reasons, it inadvertently gave the film a distinctive atmosphere, really adding to the horror of it all.
But when it’s in colour, it just doesn’t feel as scary. There’s no particularly dark and gloomy atmosphere that you get, which would up the tension in the story, and therefore it’s not at all comparable to the cinematic genius of the original.
One of the other disappointing things about this film is how cheesy it is. It often feels a lot more like a video nasty from the 80s, rather than a follow-up to one of the best films of all time, full of lines like: ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this’, and an unbelievably irritating side storyline at the beginning where Norman works as a kitchen boy in a burger store.
I do think that it was slightly unnecessary to make a sequel, largely because you’ve already had the revelation about Norman’s insanity in the first film, and that means you’ve got very little mystery and tension when you’re watching the man who was so terrifying 22 years before.
However, once you do move past realising how much better the first film was, this sequel actually begins to improve. Firstly, the film adds a whole other twist to Norman’s psychological predicament, which is surprisingly intriguing, as well as creating a new four-way conflict between Lila, Norman, Norman’s pseudo-lover Mary, and the police, which does become quite exciting to watch.
Also, the film does take on a whole different tone in terms of its excitement. The first film was brilliant because it was so tense and mysterious, however this does take on quite a jump-scare role, which is a lot more terrifying than the first film.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.2, because it was relatively disappointing in comparison to the first, but it was occasionally original and exciting enough to be engaged.