Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Gus Van Sant
Producers: Gus Van Sant, Brian Grazer
Writers: Robert Bloch (novel), Joseph Stefano (screenplay)
Date Released: December 4, 1998
Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates
Anne Heche as Marion Crane
Julianne Moore as Lila Crane
Viggo Mortensen as Sam Loomis
William H. Macy as Milton Arbogast
Robert Forster as Dr. Simon Richmond
Philip Baker Hall as Sheriff Al Chambers
Anne Haney as Eliza Chambers
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
A young woman, Marion Crane (Anne Heche), steals a huge amount of money from her employer to help her boyfriend (Viggo Mortensen) out of debt. Marion then flees Arizona by car and decides to stay at the Bates Motel while waiting for a heavy storm to pass. The owner, Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn), makes Marion feel at home and sits down with her for a small chat. Things are looking great for Marion. But what she does not know is that Norman’s domineering mother is watching on the sidelines.
Psycho (1998) copied almost everything from the original film. So, expect to see the iconic shower stabbing scene and the bloody aftermath. However, there are slight changes shown on this remake, including the presence of more blood during the stabbing and the clear view of stab wounds as Marion falls out of the shower.
If you’re a big slasher fan, you won’t have to worry much about extreme gore and violence.
The Grave Review
Let’s face it. Psycho (1998) was doomed as soon as they cast Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. Most actors with comedic backgrounds often do well with serious roles. Unfortunately, Vaughn failed to capture what made Norman Bates a horror icon. Norman Bates being unsettling and magnetic was what made the original film creepy. So if Norman Bates isn’t portrayed properly, the tone and theme of the plot is diminished. But what is even more bothersome is the fact that the producers would even want to remake this masterpiece. Would you remake Casablanca or Gone with the Wind? How do you remake something which has already been perfected? Maybe that is only a personal point of view.
Aside from Vaugh, the casting team also made a mistake choosing Heche for the role of Marion Crane. Janet Leigh gave an outstanding performance as the determined yet unsure working woman. The audience also felt her anxiety as she fled after stealing a huge amount of money. Heche, on the other hand, made Marion Crane seem dull, emotionless, and uninteresting. Her acting was so out of place that the iconic shower scene became moronic.
However, the casting isn’t the only bad decision made in this production. Another major flaw the movie had was Van Sant copying the original Psycho shot by shot. Literally. Aside from bloodier deaths, Van Sant added nothing of importance to the supposedly modern remake. It would be understandable if the director had a different interpretation of the story, but the film copies the 1960s version closely.
The movie has absolutely no redeeming value. This version can only be considered good in a timeline where the Hitchcock version does not exist. So if you’re a big fan of the 1960 version, give Psycho (1998) a hard pass. If you have not seen the original version, don’t make the mistake of watching the remake. Go for the Hitchcock version.
For the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives Psycho (1998) one grave out of five graves.
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