Directed by Gus Van Sant
Running Time: 1:43
Rated R

One question: Why? That's the one question just about everyone who is a fan of the original is asking. Why in the world would someone want to remake an American classic like Psycho? And not just a remake, but a shot for shot remake. Was the first one not good enough? Did Gus Van Sant think he was a better director than Hitchcock? Did the suits at Universal just lose their mind? Ok, so it was more than one question. Maybe I'll remake this first paragraph word for word and make it worse.

We all know the story. Norman Bates runs a motel called the Bates Motel. One night, a beautiful stranger, Marion Crane, shows up at his hotel. Norman feels attracted to her, but there's a problem. Norman's mother doesn't want her son playing around with a woman. So in one of the most famous scenes in movie history, Mrs. Bates kills Marion in the shower. Norman sees what his mother has done, and has to hide the body, and hide his terrible secret. Marion's sister, boyfriend, and a private investigator come calling to find out what happened, and in the end, we finally get to meet, Mrs. Bates.

So that wasn't a good job of re-telling the plot. Why doesn't someone remake it for me, word for word? The whole idea of remaking a movie isn't a bad idea. As the Guru said, films like The Nutty Professor, Flubber and Dr. Dolittle have all been successful, well done remakes. But to me there was a difference. They all took the original idea, but changed the story to make it more for present day. They paid tribute to the original film by using it as an influence for the new version, but didn't mess around with the original. Psycho on the other hand, went shot for shot. Literally shot for shot. To me, this is akin to a slap in the face. Basically saying, you did a good job in the first one, but with today's technology, Gus Van Sant directing, and Vince Vaughn starring, we can do better. What a load of crap. First of all, I probably could have directed this, since all I would have had to do was watch the original and do exactly what Hitchcock did. The only differences were in the shower scene, where they showed more blood and more nudity, and the fact that Marion stole $400,000 instead of $40,000. And there were small, technical and visual differences. But other than that, it was the SAME MOVIE! Why didn't they just re-release the original? I would have gladly paid $7 to sit in a theater and watch the original up on a big screen.

Secondly, the acting was bad. Starting with Vaughn. He just seemed to be trying to do his impression of Anthony Perkins, rather than making the character his own. I realize it's the same script, but if he had tried to create his version of Norman from the script, rather than from the movie, it would have been better. Anne Heche as Marion Crane. By far, in my mind, the most famous death in movie history. And I just didn't see why Norman would fall for her. I guess being cooped up in a motel all day long would make you fall for just about any woman, but Heche just doesn't do it for me. She looks like a skinny bird. At least put some more hair on top of her head. And again, I didn't like the way she played the character. There wasn't a lot of fear on her part, considering she just stole $400,000 for her employer. And the fact that a police officer was following her just seemed to make her annoyed than scared. I didn't like Viggo Mortensen as her boyfriend either. I did however enjoy William H. Macy as the private investigator, and Julianne Moore as Marion's sister. They both held their own, but then again, they're more accomplished actors than the others.

So basically what I'm saying is, this movie should have never been remade. But even taking it at face value, it wasn't fun to watch. I didn't like Vince Vaughn enough to enjoy the movie. I didn't like Anne Heche at all to enjoy the movie. And you can't watch it without thinking of the original, and there was something about watching it in black and white, with the performance of Anthony Perkins, that really made the original a classic. So don't bother going to see Psycho in the theater. Just go to your local video store, and get the original. And if you don't like this classic review, feel free to copy it word for word and send it to me.


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