Monday, April 24, 2017

Movie Review: Psycho (1998)

A nearly complete copy of the original just slightly updated for the 90s, Pscyho is remade by Gus Van Sant. Marion Crane (Anne Heche) is introduced again lying in bed with Sam Loomis (Viggo Mortensen) as she laments having to go back to work and he worries about not having enough money. When Marion is entrusted with ten times greater cash than the original $400,000, she takes off towards Los Angeles and Sam. Her paranoia increases steadily as she is trailed by a cop who catches her sleeping by the side of the road. She trades in her car for a new one and continues on the drive imagining the conversations of her boss and coworker.

Tired and barely able to see in a rainstorm, Marion pulls off to the Bates Motel. She rents a room from Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn) who offers to make her dinner. They talk for a while then Marion returns to her room. The scene where Norman spies on her is a bit more graphic with him masturbating before returning upstairs. The recreation of the iconic shower scene also goes for violence but inexplicably cuts away to clouds. The similarities are remarkable as they copy the same shots from many of the scenes and the dialogue is pretty much identical. Norman discovers what his mother has done, cleans up the mess, and disposes of her body and car in a swamp. 

Lila Crane (Julianne Moore) searches for Marion by seeking out Sam Loomis. When she confronts him, Milton Arbogast (William H. Macy) steps in to investigate. Arbogast's leads him down the road to Bates Motel. He speaks with Norman who tries to deny seeing Marion until Arbogast catches him several lies and contradictions. Suspecting something and wanting to speak with the mother, Arbogast relays the information to Lila and returns to the motel and house on the hill at night. Arbogast enters the house and is struck down on the stairs by Norman's mother.

Lila and Sam worry about Arbogast and head over to Bates Motel. Unable to find Norman, they head to the house of Sheriff Chambers (Philip Baker Hall). The sheriff informs them that Norman's mother has been dead for some time after a murder-suicide. Lila and Sam check-in to the Bates Motel the next day and search around. Sam distracts Norman while Lila searches the house. Norman realizes that Lila is gone and hits Sam with a golf club. Hiding from Norman, Lila ventures into the basement. She discovers Norman's dead mother's body just as Norman comes down dressed as his mother. Sam comes down and stops Norman from attacking Lila. Dr. Simon (Robert Forster) explains Norman's illness 

Though this remake is nearly exactly similar the acting really brings it down a notch. Vaughn cannot match Perkins childish creepiness in the original. The movie truly lacks the horror of the original as it retained the scariness of a 1960s film and didn't update it for the current drama. It tried to capitalized on the growing popularity of slasher films in the late nineties that have all evolved into young adult television shows for this next generation. I am interested to see how Bates Motel will update the story as it decided to make something different, not an inferiour copy. 

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