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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Psycho 2

     Attempting a remake, much less a sequel to an Alfred Hitchcock movie must be a daunting task, to say the least.  Having to continue a story started by Hitchcock himself would almost lead to a disaster, you would think.  However, I find the sequel to one of his most iconic movies to be not bad at all.  In fact, I love this movie.  Now it's not even fair to try to compare the two- I mean, it's Alfred Hitchcock you're comparing it to.  But the sequel is surprisingly slick and entertaining.  It helps having Anthony Perkins reprising his infamous role as Norman Bates, and Vera Miles returning as Janet Leigh's sister in the original, Lila Loomis.  While watching, one can't help but marvel at Perkins.  He's just so good as Norman.  He was meant to play this role.  It also helps that this sequel is unpredictably chilling, scary and gruesome, and even manages to be almost touching at times. "Psycho 2" doesn't rip-off the original at all, I think.  I believe that truly stands on its own and is a fine sequel in its own right.

      It's been 22 years since he notoriously murdered Janet Leigh in that shower, and Norman Bates has been declared legally sane and is finally being released from the mental facility to begin a new life.  Lila, the sister of Janet Leigh's character from the original, is determined to keep him locked up though, convinced he's still a dangerous killer. Norman takes a job at a local diner and meets Lila's daughter, Mary, played by Meg Tilly, who moves in with Norman.  Suddenly strange things start happening in the old Bates house.  Norman begins having visions of his dead mother- is he still suffering from psychological issues or is someone trying to get him re-committed?  A nice little mystery/thriller begins, with many neat little plot twists to keep it entertaining.

    A whopper of an ending wraps it all up nicely, although opening the door for another sequel, which probably wasn't a good idea.  The wonderful score by Jerry Goldsmith adds a haunting touch, and smartly doesn't try to copy the iconic original score.  "Psycho 2" is actually a pretty good slasher, and severely underrated as a sequel.   This could have been a disaster, but luckily for us it wasn't. This is actually one of the best horror sequels ever made. Trust me. There are far worse horror movies out there.

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