Review written by: Alex Sandell
What's the story?
Hollywood digs through its vaults and tries to shamelessly pump another film classic for all that it's worth.
So how is it? (Get to the point, already)
As a lot of you who have been reading this page for a while know, I consider the original "Psycho" to be the best horror film ever made. Millions of other people share that opinion with me. This creates some mighty big shoes for a remake to fill. Some would say, "why even try?"
Universal would answer with, "$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$".
When you are remaking a film classic this legendary, the safest play would be to make it as close to the original as possible. This is the play the overrated Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) chose to go with. Most of this film is a shot-by-shot remaking of the original. It's actually less of a remake and more of a retread. This will have a lot of people asking, "what the hell is the point?"
Universal will answer with, "$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$".
There are a few mindless additions to the film (maybe a total of 3 minutes worth. All 3 minutes will be unnoticeable unless you've seen the original at least 30 times.) which are put there to try and keep diehard fans on their toes for two hours. A couple lines of dialogue have been altered in a failed attempt to bring the 1960 "Psycho" "up-to-date" with the nineties. And, most annoyingly, whenever a killing occurs we get some sort of MTV, "Beavis and Butthead on Acid" sort of directing style where images flash in front of our face in-between each slice of the knife.
Wow . . . I wonder if this guy ever saw "Natural Born Killers" before?
Sadly, the film-cloning ends with the actors. The new cast just cannot live up to the one Hitch assembled back in 1960. Anne Heche does okay as Marion Crane, but her performance can't compare to Janet Leigh's. Julianne Moore, an exceptional actress in past roles, just does not seem to fit the part of Lila Crane. The "nineties" addition of headphones blaring out rock 'n' roll definitely didn't help any. Viggo Mortensen is absolutely unbearable as a redneck version of Sam Loomis, a character portrayed wonderfully in the original by John Gavin. Finally, although he gives it his best shot by over-acting and mimicking moves which were perfected by Anthony Perkins, Vince Vaughn comes off as nothing more than a weasly pest while playing the infamous Norman Bates. His character doesn't even seem real, and actually takes away from Mr. Perkin's exceptional performance. It's almost as though Vaughn climbed inside Perkin's portrayal and beat it into a whiney, fragmented parody.
This film is ridiculous. A waste of celluloid. I have never seen anything so abhorrent come out of Hollywood. This is an insult to the writers, producers, and more than anything, the director (Alfred Hitchcock, of course) of the original "Psycho". It isn't played as a tribute, being that the film fails to mention Mr. Hitchcock, or any other members of the original cast and crew unless it is directly lifting their work (the original soundtrack pumped out in Dolby Digital is the only redeeming value this film has). It isn't played for humor, such as "The Brady Bunch Movie", trying to get us to laugh out of nostalgia. It isn't trying to surprise us by putting a whole new spin on things like this year's other Hitchcock remake, "A Perfect Murder". All it is doing is rehashing a classic. It's almost as if Mr. Van Sant decided that if he waited long enough, no one would notice. Why settle for being considered the "next" Hitchcock, when you can simply be Hitchcock?
Go rent the original. Stay away from this scam. There's a unique movie somewhere that wants your attention, instead.
What does it make you feel like eating?
Anyone behind this monstrosity.
What are you selling us here???
The illusion that this is a new movie.
If it won an Oscar, what would it be?
"Hollywood's New Low" - Cast and Crew of Psycho 1998
On a scale of 1-10?
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Text ©(Copyright) 1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, we'll be in court longer than Bill Clinton!