480. Psycho (1998)

4.4 Insulting and unnecessary
  • Acting 1.8
  • Directing 2.0
  • Story 9.5
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore

Director: Gus Van Sant

Running Time: 103 mins

Psycho is an American film about a young woman who steals $400,000 from her boss in Arizona, and goes on the run immediately, only to find herself at the mysterious Bates Motel, run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

There’s one word that sums up this film perfectly: POINTLESS. Basically, this film is a shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho, and the only differences are the poorer acting, the fact that it’s in colour, and annoying little mistakes, but apart from that, the film is identical.

Now, this is a hard film to judge, because I obviously can’t criticise the story, seeing as it’s the same one as the film currently at #1 of my Top 150, or any of the dialogue, which is all the same as the original, however I can criticise the fact that this story doesn’t suit a modern reboot.

Set in 1960, there was an odd nostalgic and vintage charm to the original, and it seemed a lot more realistic then, but in 1998, it doesn’t work at all. By the late 90s, mobile phones had been invented, so anybody in the Bates Motel could have easily called for help. Cars were also faster, so that 15 miles to Fairvale would have only taken about 15 minutes, meaning Marion’s stop at the motel was more idiotic than it was 38 years before.

However, what really annoyed and disappointed me about this film was the terrible acting. Anne Heche barely conveyed any of the desperation that Janet Leigh so brilliantly showed in Marion Crane originally, Julianne Moore didn’t act at all like the sister that Vera Miles did before, and then there was Vince Vaughn.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Vince Vaughn, but as a comedy actor. In reality, he can’t pull off such a demanding and terrifying role as Norman Bates, and when you’re watching him on screen, doing his weird laugh every now and then, it’s really difficult to take it seriously, which does ruin the atmosphere quite a lot.

I would like to look at this film from an original and impartial perspective, but when it’s being shown as simply a coloured-in version of the original, it’s impossible to not make comparisons.

And one of the problems with that is you notice the little things, which really irritate you. For example, some small, but memorable dialogue scenes are cut out, the car scene at the very end is longer than it should be, and the timing of the classic music in the shower scene is late, and realising that really destroys the moment.

Overall, I’ll give this a 4.4, because it was just an unnecessary copy of Hitchcock’s classic, that’s irritatingly identical, but somehow worse, to watch.


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