Psycho (1998)



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A young female embezzeler arrives at the Bates Motel which has terrible secrets of its own. Full summary »

Genre: Horror,Mystery,Thriller

Psycho (1998)
Release Date: 4 December 1998 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Anne Heche
  • Julianne Moore
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • William H. Macy
  • Robert Forster
  • Philip Baker Hall
  • Anne Haney
  • Chad Everett
  • Rance Howard
  • Rita Wilson
  • James Remar
  • James LeGros
  • Steven Clark Pachosa
  • O.B. Babbs

33 Responses to Psycho (1998)

  1. HighNRG
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    I know I’m going to be crucified for saying so – but I do NOT think this movie is BAD. In fact, I am enjoying it!

    I dig the fact that it’s a shot for shot remake. And, of course, Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn are a little over the top…. and not as good as the originals, but…. ITS NOT BAD.

    Why such the bad press?

    Am I just clueless????

    I think this movie gets a lot of bad hype…. And I don’t think it deserves it.

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, etc., remakes were WAYYYY WORSE,

    This feels like it has some type of integrity, and is trying to stay true (maybe too true) to the original.

    PLEASE someone else has GOT to agree with me.

    I know i am taking a chance as an outcast here, seeing as this movie has been almost univerally panned and has a 4.5 on the IMDB scale :(

    They say it’s the last song. They don’t know us, you see. It’s only the last song if we let it be.

  2. HUmarKukule
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    My First Choice for the role of Norman Bates would be Ralph Fiennes Based on His performance as Francis in Red Dragon He was so much Like Norman Bates it was almost Uncanny

  3. celticank
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    In my opinion they should have had Zachary Quinto who plays Sylar from Heroes be Norman Bates cause he be perfect for the role. Right?

  4. Johnlindsey289
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    It’s completely horrible and un-needed, now a true artist like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Brian DePalma all grew up with the original Scarface, The Thing from Another World and The Fly as they did their remakes with care, love and respect.

    This one was just intended for cash and not for art like those three amazing remakes.

    "You gotta be Fking kidding"-The Thing.

  5. MGDelerium3
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    What’s stupid to me, is that they went through all the trouble, to match up every little detail to the original, like the hotel room window, etc, then they build a new house?????? WTF.. that’s the psycho house with its odd mansard roofline. Why in the world change that!!!

    Does anyone know the reason behind this?

    That for me was the biggest disapointment.

    Le Roi Est Mort, VIVE Le Roi! – E N I G M A 3

  6. troyman5150
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    Everyone hates this film, but I loved it. The main reason was for Vince Vaughn in his best role, and I don’t think he was acting. He did better than Perkins!

  7. kevin-bergin
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    In the original, the boyfriend (Sam) simply says he will keep Norman busy. Hey, that boyfriend is a pretty big guy and Norman Bates is played by, well, Anthony Perkins.

    In the remake, the boyfriend is more reluctant-and concerned if Bates doesn’t want to stay occupied; after all, Vince Vaughn is a pretty big guy. I think they dialogue was changed at that point.

    Anyone else see it that way?

  8. gavinobyrne2009-1
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    is there going to be a sequel remake since they did 3 of them

  9. Scorsese_Eyebrows
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    Not only did he like it, he’s on Sky Movies presenting it and saying it was a masterpiece, and yet he has just stated that he’s not Hitchcock’s biggest fan, he appreciates Hitchcock for what he’s done but he’s not a big fan himself.

    My god.

  10. filmbuff-6
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    It certainly would have been interesting to watch.

  11. christomacin
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    after getting nominated for a best picture Oscar, you’d think any self-respecting "serious" director would use their new found prestige and clout to get some personal project made they’ve been dreaming of making their whole life. For Gus Van Sant that film was a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho? He could have done that back in film school if he had that urge, or he could have shot a few scenes for his own amusement, or as a learning tool. But why subject a paying audience to a new version of Psycho with all the gravitas of a High School play? Why squander $25 million and your time and talent (not to mention that of the cast and crew) merely to prove the point that you can fail? I mean his chances of exceding the original were virutally nil, the chances of even matching it next to nil, with the highest likelihood of making at best a not-great-but-than-expected film or at worst an atrocious film. Surely, Van Sant must be at least clever enough to have known that, right? I mean surely…don’t call me Shirley! I just don’t get film-makers and their priorites today. Why deliberately set yourself up for failure?

    That made about as much sense as Ridley Scott following up his Oscar winning Gladiator with a sequel (Hannibal) to someone else film (Silence of the Lambs), or John Boorman following up Deliverance with the Excorcist sequel. John Boorman was an early example of a phenomenon that has now become rampant in Hollywood several decades later. Only now it is the twin scourge of sequels and remakes, but it is beyond that now. We are truly in Alice Wonderland through-the-looking-glass cinematic world: sequels of remakes, remakes of remakes, sequels of remakes of remakes, sequels of sequels of remakes of remakes. An age of plastic unoriginality and phoniness, topped of with a thick coating of CGI and purely commercial motives. The incessant remakes and sequels are a cancer that has been eating away at Hollywood for decades. I am amazed that Steven Soderbergh has not only made about three remakes recently, but also made sequels to those remakes. Enough to make you puke, and this isn’t even some hack director we are talking about. Why do directors make such stupid career decisions: money, laziness, or do they just not have that sense of professional pride anymore?

    I mean with Hitchcok, Psycho was a film that he urgently felt he had to make, which contained themes he had honed since the 1920’s to a fine point. Where was the urgent need of Van Sant to make this movie? Brian De Palma or Polanski maybe would have done something at least interesting (though not the equal of the original) with a Psycho remake. Those directors remaking Psycho might have made a little sense in the context of their careers (not much, but a bit) considering the very strong influence Hitchcock had on their films. It doesn’t make a bit of sense for Van Sant, though, who really showed little Hitchcock influence up to that period in his career. This is especially true as he was in a position to make almost any script he wanted after Good Will Hunting. I just don’t see what Van Sant thought he was going to get out of this project career-wise or artistically. I could understand if he had been a hack, journeyman director, of a first-time director, or a TV movie director, or a director who’s previous work showed strong Hitchcockian influence. None of these described Van Sant.

    Granted, Herzog remade Nosferatu and Friedkin remade Wages of Fear, but at least those guys put their own (very disctinctive) styles on their films, not to mention that the films that they came up with were not mere copies of the original. It also helps that they were both terrific films in their own right. I could see why those works fit into their directing careers and why they did them, but I can’t see why Van Sant did Psycho. If he really wanted to "experiment" in a Hitchcockian mode, why not remake Rope, which truly was an experimental film? While Rope is a fine film, it was arguably not entirely successful, or at least not entirely satisfying, precisely because Hitch deviated from his usual style somewhat. In other words, Van Sant could have remade Rope as Hitchcock would have made it had he taken a more "typical" Hithcock approach. Van Sant would have maybe had a fighting chance with that one, and maybe would have come up with a somewhat interesting film. Van Sant could have privately reshot Psycho to use as a learning tool and trial run for his theatrical remake of Rope. He could have learned from his mistakes and perhaps made a truly fine Hitchcock remake…BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  12. ecarle
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    …about cinema, that is. Or the movies.

    The 1998 Best Picture was "Shakespeare in Love," which beat the more universally praised and watched "Saving Private Ryan." But neither of those films seem to be as monumental as what Gus Van Sant did.

    Irony: Whereas Hitchcock’s "Psycho" was a huge blockbuster in 1960 that played from June on through the fall, with re-releases in 1965 and 1969 and record-breaking TV showings…

    …Van Sant’s "Psycho" was a flop that was in and out of theaters in three weeks. Nobody saw it.

    But its importance remains. Van Sant’s "experiment" is the only film I can think of that took on the entire MEANING of what movies are (clue: they aren’t plays, they aren’t novels, they aren’t songs –they’re "pieces of time"), and that elected to "blasphemy the religion of film." I’m still not sure if Van Sant realizes that he took on 100 years of film history when he made his "little movie."

    "Psycho" is probably the most groundbreaking single film ever made. What Hitchcock did in 1960 was unprecedented. The OTHER groundbreaking American films that would follow a few years later– Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, 2001, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy — all rather arrived in a "group rush" of young talent and exploded censorship. But "Psycho" was there first.

    Consequently, for Gus Van Sant to try to duplicate a movie that remains so unique in film history is…unique in film history.

    He failed. Miserably. Practically everything that Hitchcock got right, Van Sant got wrong. The cutting was mis-timed, and lost Hitchcock’s artful flow. Hitchcock’s trademark "rhyming shots" were removed (likely because Van Sant never saw them in the first place.) Despite Danny Elfman’s valiant efforts, Bernard Herrmann’s perfect music cues hit in the wrong places (because of cut or wrongly-timed shots.) The wrong lines were cut so that scenes no longer made sense. The actors, however good, were miscast. The costumes were wrong (Marion with a parasol? Norman Bates in designer shirts? Men in pop-art neckties with alligator shoes?)The lenses were wrongly selected and hence couldn’t keep the focus or range of Hitchcock’s shots. Most camera angles were "off."

    All this, with Van Sant working directly from an on-set DVD of Hitchcock’s movie (my favorite Van Sant quote was "Even with the movie to look at, I couldn’t get certain shots the way Hitchcock did.")

    And audiences didn’t even show up to see how Van Sant got it wrong. Why? Because what was groundbreaking in 1960 had no radicalizing societal force in 1998, whatsoever. The first two slasher murders. The first view of a toilet. The first shots of a woman in half-slip and bra. Sexual suggestion. All meaningless in ’98. (Frankly, a "Jaws" remake would have worked better. At least that movie OPENS with violent death and keeps the pace of today’s filmmaking.)

    But the experiment succeeded. By failing.

    Van Sant spent $25 million of Universal’s money (an incredible show business acheivement in itself, attributed to the success of "Good Will Hunting" and the wilingness of powerful Imagine Entertainment honchos Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to back Van Sant’s request)to show us all why Hitchcock — at his best — was so good, and will never be replaced.

    "Van Sant’s Psycho" is also important because now, they’ll never do THAT again. "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca", "The Godfather": you’re safe!

    P.S. In Van Sant’s favor, four things:

    (1) He just did what a lot of "Psycho" fans probably wish they could do; that movie has an obsessional grip on people. For everybody who ever shot a shower scene spoof on video, or who ever writes or posts incessantly on the film, Van Sant’s got your number. My number, too.

    (2) Van Sant and his collaborators were top film people: composer Danny Elfman, the award-winning cinematographer Danny Boyle(who makes this "Psycho" gorgeous to look at in candy-cane pastel color, but WRONG); solid actors like William H. Macy (in a stupid hat) and Julianne Moore (playing Lila so tough that we’re not even scared for her when she goes into the Bates house.)

    (3) Shot by shot, it aint, but the basic story is intact. Remakes of movies like "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Cape Fear" seemed to take glee in throwing out the entire meaning of the original stories, in favor of rather banal "topical updates." Van Sant left great enough alone.

    (4) Joseph Stefano, the screenwriter of the original 1960 "Psycho" was paid more to "update" his script for the remake ($40,000 becomes $400,000; "aspic" becomes "jello") than Hitchcock paid for the original script. Good for him. He died wealthier than he would have otherwise.

  13. resumedsr
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    I heard that Rob Zombie will direct.

  14. dickensintheair
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    Alright I will admit I have not seen this movie, nor do I plan to, but my girlfriend saw it when it came out (or around that time), when she was in her late teens. It actually made her interested in watching the original PSYCHO, so I guess this version accomplished something. In any case, she was telling me about Bates pleasuring himself watching Marion Crane undress, and I guess Van Sant’s explanation was that was what Hitchcock would have wanted had the censors not been the way they were back in the 60s.

    Now, in the original, I never even considered Bates would do that. In fact, I interpreted that scene as this: as soon as Bates felt any attraction/desire to a woman, his mother half of his personality would kick in immediately. I think the psychiatrist explained this in the end of the original, but I don’t remember. And even if Hitch did want to the audience to assume that’s what Bates was doing, I’m sure the implication would have worked much better than whatever is shown in the remake.

    But yes…do you think what Van Sant said is true, or do you think it was just another poor artistic choice?

    "You’re confusing hair with schizophrenia. Common mistake." – missgreen16

  15. chevstriss
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    some of the costumes LOOKED early 60s, Heche’s car appeared to be around ’81. Were they setting it in the 80s? You could’t exactly set that script in the late 90s, when everyone had a cel phone. Did I miss a line about everyone’s phone being out of range or dead batteries?

    my goal as an actress? to remain on payroll

  16. L2thaRO
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    I think I dislike Julianne Moore becasue of this movie. I find her to be kind of annoying in an independent feminist "I am woman, hear me roar" way. And it kills me how she is always carrying around her walkman.

    Does anyone know if there is some kind of significance to the walkman? Or a reference of some sort to the original? She seems to refuse to go anywhere without it and it just seems so ridiculous…

  17. JayKayTee
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    This film is awful, I mean truly awful. Vince Vaughn as Bates?! You gotta be kidding me. Anthony Perkins was a great choice for Bates because he’s handsome, nervous and believable, Vince Vaughn can’t act his way out of a paper bag. There was no suspense, crap acting, not creepy or scary in the slightest and a complete waste of time. It’s an insult to the original.

    ‘John Connor said to let you go…..I’m not John Connor’

  18. MovieMania7
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    No i’m not kidding. This and the original Psycho are two of my favorites. In what is probably one of the few positive reviews this film got, here is a review (that I didn’t write) that explain’s what I found new and interesting about the movie:

    "Ahhh!…and boom goes the dynamite."

  19. mercury4
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    Johnny Depp, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis. For some reason, I can also see Tom Cruise playing Norman Bates. I doubt he would ever do it though. It would be nice to see Cruise as Norman Bates and Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair. Whether Bates is younger or older in the movie, I think these choices are a hell of a lot better than Vince Vaughn.

  20. shannonphoenix
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    As far as performance goes, I think everyone did a great job. The bad part was it was EXACTLY like the original. I am not sure if making some changes would have hurt, but I felt that all of them were set up badly.

    That movie and the characters of Norman and Marion were made infamous by two very legendary actor, Tony Perkins and Janet Leigh. Vince and Ann did not have a chance. They were both great and performed very well, but tell me, how do you make a remake of a landmark type movie like "Psycho?" I don’t think you can. It would be like remaking "Gone with the Wind," it kind of sets the actors up because they cannot compete. I know some remakes were done that were actually pretty good, but it seems like they were either very very old movies from the early days of film, or they were different in a lot of ways, making it more "today."

    How do you think or what do you think the producers/directors should have done differently? It was line for line with "Psycho" and it was not fair to the actors to try to outdo a movie that is classic. I did think that Vince Vaughn did a good job as Norman Bates, but no matter who they chose, Tony Perkins will always be Norman.

    I think it was well performed and wonder if the actors didn’t feel a bit odd repeating the lines and complained to the director.

  21. jadesliver
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    The color scheme, different energy of the actors, and reinterpretation make this project interesting enough to justify the making of it. Worship and sanctification (a word?) can always be dangerous.

    Art is ideas. Ideas can always be further explored.

    I can see many people taking Gus Van Sant’s sexuality into account and applying it to HIS version of it, but not to Hitchcock’s. Here’s why:

    1) A man in drag killing a naked woman in a shower. (Freud would have had a FIELD. DAY.)

    2) Julianne Moore’s choice to portray Lila as a lesbian. No lines, no acknowledgement of it within the film, but it was an internal, personal decision and approach on her part.

    3) Norman Bates’s personality, abnormal attachment to his mother, desire to dress in drag, etc., etc.

    If you consider these things, that’s OK and cool. If you don’t at all, that’s OK and cool. And that’s the whole point.

    Same script. Different artists doing it. Graphs a whole new meaning and interpretation onto it. It just shows how you can take ANY script from ANY time and re-do it, and simply by virtue of there being a new cast and crew, it’s very very different from the original.

    Give it another chance, drop the attitude and ego and pretentiousness, and let it be its own animal.

    If for no other reason, watch it because it has Julianne Moore in it.

  22. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  23. Gordon_Gartrelle
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    Yes it may have been newly renevated but it is a motel

  24. kingcell
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    Gus Van Sant’s remake would make Alfred Hitchcock burst from his grave!

  25. tyrexden
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    I’m afraid to say it, but this film makes Hitchcock look like a hack. I’m glad Van Sant was around to show us how to do real horror.

  26. Jonny-boyy
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    A remake should re-tell the same story with the simalar elements, but not just take the original and reshoot every single frame and attach new actors and cast to the movie.



    people will never be pleased.

    when the above is done, a horror movie is "ruined" according to most people.

    i think this film makes a very good point. that some of you idiots will dislike/hate something, regardless of how good or bad it is, just because you want to.


    include me in your conversationz.

  27. exclusiveburner
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    What happened? I saw this on AMC the other day, and its ridiculously bad. It was good until Vince Vaugn came on screen, I actually didn’t realize it was Psycho until I realized it was the Bates Motel…I like the cast too I’m fond of all these actors…

  28. Rachel_Green_Is_King
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    It was good, until I realized the reason being, was because it was just a modern version of the original "Psycho". Anyone else agree?

  29. jgarc123
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  30. ricky-118
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    i understand this is a remake, but what does the whole shot by shot mean? i never heard this b4 in a remake… ive seen the old one and i MIGHT see this one, i just want to know what shot by shot means b4 i do.

    last surprise i got was in 2004 when jigsaw rose from the floor.

  31. palatial42
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    hitchcock is undoubtedly one of the greats. he is an originator in every sense of the word. psycho is a classic. it was/is/always will be one of the great horror gems. anthony perkins, janet leigh, vera miles, and everyone else deliver truly memorable performances. that being said, i don’t mind the remake. Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore are two of my favorite artists. William H. Macy, Anne Heche, and Vigo Morentson all give strong performances as usual, and Gus Van Sant is at worst, an extremely proficient director. So, basically what I’m saying is, even if it was a bit pointless to do a near shot-for-shot remake of such a classic, is it really that bad that it exists? Like I said, I dig all of the actors in it, and its got some nice color for a change of pace. Sometimes modern bands cover classic songs, but that doesn’t mean we dont enjoy some of ’em, right? give it a chance. This version of Psycho ain’t as bad as people make it seem.

    "we ain’t gonna stand for no weirdness out here."

  32. noyes019
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    then the ONLY reason you don’t like this is because of the acting, because i hate to break it to you all, but it’s EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL!

    so if you don’t like this, then you don’t like the original!

    and don’t give me any crap about "black and white being better" because frankly, i think colour is better and today’s movie-goers would probably prefer to watch a movie in colour rather than black and white

    it was a good movie and it must have been really hard to make it exactly the same as the original

  33. derekjager
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    Still not sure what the point of this disaster was, but watching it again on AMC I was struck (again) at the complete lack of talent Anne and Vince have in their key roles.

    Zero emotion in their performances—they just recite lines, making no effort to "own" their parts. Or maybe Gus just gave them zero direction?

    The only things I like are the inset images of the woman wearing the mask, the sheep on the road — that weird stuff works nicely.

    But the rest is a disaster–even the final "unmasking" of Mother is botched. No real shock and Vince looks more puzzled and lost than crazy when he approaches Julianne Moore.

    Thank God the original remains!

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