Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Review: Psycho (1960)

IMDB rate: 8,6
Genre: Serial Killer

Last weekend I watched Psycho for the first time ever. To be honest, it was probably the first black and white movie I've ever watched. Of course there's Night of the Living Dead but the version I watched had colors added. Anyway, recently I started watching the TV show Bates Motel which is like a prequel of Psycho and I absolutely love this TV show (I will write about it at some point). Because I watch this TV show I figured it would be a good time to finally watch Psycho. Honestly, I expected that I wouldn't like it since I'm never a big fan of 'older' movies, but after seeing it I loved it. The ending was incredibly surprising to me. 

I own the remake of Psycho on DVD but I'm never really interested in watching it since Vince Vaughn (!) plays Normal Bates and I could never imagine him playing a good horror character. But of course, I will still watch it one day since I can't judge without watching it. 

Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to back $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.

Pardon me for this, but since I'm watching the TV show Bates Motel I can't help but compare some things with each other. 

What I found remarkable at first was the great resemblance between Anthony Perkins and Freddie Highmore. They're both playing Norman Bates and they look very similar. Freddie is obviously a bit younger and his eyebrows are a bit bigger but they still look alike. Their whole facial expression is similar and I really love that they casted Freddie Highmore for the role of Norman Bates. 
Speaking of Anthony Perkins, what an amazing actor! This is the first time I've seen him in a movie and I was incredibly impressed by him. And boy, he's a pleasure for the eye as well ;). 

I was a bit surprised that one of the main character died that quickly in this movie, I expected a much bigger role from Janet Leigh. I also expected a few more psychotic actions to let the psycho factor be more of a statement or something. Another thing that I found slightly disappointing was that there wasn't paid a whole lot of attention to the relationship between Norman and his mother. I expected that he would seem more obsessed by her or something. 

Of course when talking horror movies, the name Psycho definitely pops up once or twice. I knew that the movie was about Norman Bates and something with his mother, but I never really knew what this movie lead to. I was so surprised with this ending, I honestly did not see that one coming. I really liked the ending.

Of course, this movie is older and there are plenty of fake looking moments, for example the last fight. Or the bathroom scene where absolutely nothing like blood is added and where you can practically see the knife bounce of the skin. But of course in this time you're used to disgusting movies like Saw and stuff, we get used to seeing bloody scenes, perhaps that increases the expectations a bit for me.

I truly liked Psycho a lot. The movie may have aged a bit, but I can imagine that it was incredibly refreshing for it's time. Brilliant performance of Anthony Perkins, what a great actor! And the ending was incredible as well, I'm pretty interested in the sequels although I can't imagine they top this movie. Also, I really recommend watching Bates Motel because it's a very good TV show with an incredible performance of Freddie Highmore.

IMDB rate: 9/10

1 comment:

  1. I love that you had the good fortune to see Psycho without being aware of the "Oh shit!" moments in advance. I envy you. Freddie Highmore does do a pretty impressive approximation of Anthony Perkins on Bates Motel. Should you watch the theatrical sequels to Psycho, just be aware that the makers of Bates Motel have stated that their take isn't beholden to theatrical canon. Of course, the modern setting of the series pretty much gives that away. Since they've said that, I have this weird notion that Highmore's Bates may ultimately never become the momma killing Norman we know from the theatrical version of the character. I get the distinct impression that the show's makers are f**king with viewers expectations, since almost everyone knows the broad strokes of Norman's theatrical incarnation. If you were particularly impressed by Perkins' performance in Psycho, don't waste any time getting around to Psycho II. He owns it.


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