Sunday, June 17, 2007

Psycho II (1983, Richard Franklin)

"After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude... but the specters of his crimes -- and his mother -- continue to haunt him."

A lot of film buffs will never even bother with this one. It's a sequel to an already great film and all film buffs are quick to hate it just based on that principle. I know because I have always been like that towards the Psycho sequels. I regret this so much and even hate myself for doing this because this film is a lot better than anyone who hasn't seen it thinks it will be. I'm still in awe of it really.

I rented the film out of pure curiosity to just see what they could possibly do with the character of Norman Bates in a sequel. What they do with the character is surprisingly excellent and makes the whole film work perfectly. The plot deals with Norman Bates returning back to his home after 22 years in the insane asylum and finally being declared sane. Everything is normal until notes from his mother start popping up and so do dead bodies. This is some fun stuff here.

However the film doesn't just go for cheap thrills and sudden shocks. The film instead is told through Norman Bates and his inner struggle of staying sane. Through out the whole movie you are basically asking yourself if Norman Bates is back to his old ways or if there is someone else out there tormenting him. The thing is that Bates is also asking himself this through out the movie. This is also some fun stuff here.

All you gotta do now is add a lot of twits and turns to keep the audience at the edge of their seats and some surprisingly great direction and you got yourself an extremely fun film. This is exactly why I loved Psycho II. It's an extremely entertaining film that decides to play it smart and respect the source material while having fun with the character of Bates as well as the plot. I also applaud the film for being brave and taking on such a project that I'm pretty sure a lot of people didn't want back then and continue to ignore today and then deciding to surprise everyone by making something worthy of peoples time .

As much as I love the first film it might seem as a sacrilegious statement to call this film great but it really is. I wish more film buffs and film lovers would take the risk of checking this one out. Although its no where near close to the original it's still a great sequel to a great film. It's also one of the most underrated films I have ever stumbled on.

Who would've known that Psycho II was this great? I never would have.

- ****

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