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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.07%
Worth A Look: 15.94%
Average: 18.84%
Pretty Bad: 23.91%
Total Crap36.23%

4 reviews, 114 user ratings

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Psycho (1998)
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by Ryan Arthur

"A boy's best friend is his mother. Or a peephole and a hand."
2 stars

Completely unnecessary and not the least bit satisfying.

Why is it that the new Psycho, in all its glorious color, is just so bland?

Maybe it's because for all the trumpeting of how it's a shot-for-shot recreation of the original (and it is, I guess), it doesn't make it a better film, or even more accessible to a younger audience (one of the reasons for the experiment, according to the filmmakers). If anything, it'll make younger audiences restless.

Perhaps in the desire to build the hype (it is a Hollywood movie), to take away the advance screenings, to treat the thing with such reverence, the filmmakers were setting themselves up for a fall. A bad idea from its inception, a Psycho remake was basically doomed from the start.

The movie could've worked. Could've. I'm not sure how, exactly - I'm a writer, not a filmmaker - but in it's current form, it doesn't. I doubt we'll be seeing a recreation of director Gus Van Sant's recreation 40 years from now.

If you've seen the original, you know the drill about the plot. If you haven't, then hey, I won't spoil it for you. I myself have never seen the whole thing in one sitting. It's all been bits and pieces of multiple viewings. Rest assured, though, I'm renting that puppy tonight.

So that leaves us with a comparison between the two, as all reviews of this film will end up being, anyway. Van Sant's Psycho is fairly faithful (with a few exceptions)in shots and pacing, but one wonders if the film would've been better had there been more deviation.

Among the obvious differences: Norman (Vince Vaughn) gets jiggy with himself when peeping on Marion (Anne Heche), including slapping sounds (there'd be nothing weirder than being the foley artist responsible for masturbation sound effects, I'd think); a couple weird inserts (sheep?) when a character is killed off; and a bit more nudity (as director Kevin Smith mentions on his View Askew website, "You can just about make out Anne Heche's asshole" in the shower scene) and blood.

Van Sant's Psycho plays like a student film, an experiment more than a reverential homage. By following Hitchcock's lead, the new Psycho is tedious, and, dare I say it, boring. Perhaps it'd be more interesting had it veered off on some tangent, but then critics would have been even more harsh.

Among the cast, Vaughn, quite simply, is no Anthony Perkins. To his credit, he doesn't ape Perkins completely, but he draws inevitable comparisons to him (it'd be difficult not to, with such a great performance). The neervous giggle/laugh seems a bit forced. Heche is merely adequate as Marion Crane. She's always been attractive (though somewhat blank) to me, but here she seemed slightly out of place (what was up with that orange dress?), as did Viggo Mortensen, who plays Marion's lover Sam a little bit weirder than John Gavin did in the original.

I did like William H. Macy as the private detective, Arbogast (because he's William H. Macy, for crying out loud), and Rita Wilson, who plays Caroline the secretary, was a hoot. Yet it's not enough.

Does the new Psycho accomplish what people wanted? I guess it will depend on who you ask. I left the theater asking why they felt the need to do it. I wanted Van Sant to just go off, to take the story and make it his own, go off on some strange subplot, anything. But he didn't, and ultimately it hurt the film far more than it helped.

I, for one, expected Vince Vaughn to break character and scream out "My mother is sooooooo fucking money!" It might have made his performance better.

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originally posted: 12/08/98 02:11:01
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell lame pointless remake of a great film 1 stars
2/08/17 Louise The most pointless remake ever. Why was it even made?? 1 stars
10/16/15 David Hollingsworth pointless and absolutely forgettable 1 stars
10/09/10 art PSYCHO 2 from 1983 was better than this RETREAD of the 1960 ORIGINAL! 1 stars
3/26/09 Anonymous. psycho is one of the many movies that doesnt require a remake. 2 stars
2/13/08 chris true to the original (good) 4 stars
10/21/07 Rae Nope. Not working for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 2 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday Not the best remake out there. 3 stars
1/27/07 action movie fan lame pointless remake the original is and will always be the best 2 stars
12/01/06 David Pollastrini why not just colorize the original? 4 stars
9/25/06 DK i enjoyed it, mind i never saw the original 4 stars
7/11/06 David Cohen Van Sant's lesson in humility, pity he didn't learn anything 2 stars
12/03/05 cody a poor remake but like the original one, but actors and directing suck bad! 2 stars
11/19/04 screb viggos ass was the only decent thing in it 2 stars
8/16/04 sally anne mchugh it was brilliant vince rocks i hope he brings more movies like that out 5 stars
7/31/04 jmsynth Pointless, but the original is so good this is at least enjoyable. 3 stars
7/10/04 chantelle d. this movie wuz ok 3 stars
6/07/04 Ryan Clark Same as the original, save for slightly altered dialogue, but lacks the originality. 2 stars
3/23/04 Trannon Goble How could they?? 2 stars
12/09/03 Samuel Its a shot for shot remake..why does everyone think this sucks, its the same!!! 3 stars
11/27/03 John why? 1 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Blasphemy! How do you manage to fuck up a shot-for-shot re-make? Watch and learn. CRAP 1 stars
10/01/03 Samuel Justus As the origional! 3 stars
8/12/03 Double G I hated this movie, but its still better than the piece of krap psyco(1960)! I hate both!!! 1 stars
6/19/03 Lush You thought Vanilla Sky and 101 Dalmations was pointless? Just wait till you see this 2 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Well-photographed but utterly pointless. 2 stars
11/24/02 Kyle Oh, please....... 1 stars
11/02/02 Logan ITS THE SAME FUCKING MOVIE!!! 1 stars
8/16/02 Shaun Something about black and white film that made the first better than this POS 2 stars
4/28/02 Butterbean Both of those films suck, it's just that the original was a novelty. 2 stars
2/12/02 Meryl K. Crap. Crap. Crap. Not even Viggo could've saved this one. 1 stars
1/17/02 David A. The masturbating scene weakened it. The real (1960) Norman was a killer, not a typical teen 3 stars
12/09/01 Cracked head What the hell is this? 1 stars
11/21/01 Chris K. Is Gus Van Saint making any films today? No, and thank God! BAD DIRECTOR! 1 stars
9/30/01 Andrew Carden A Very Scary, Well Done Film. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat If U've already seen the original version,U don't need to see this.It's the same damn movie 3 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk I can't believe I share the same last name as the director of this film. Horrible idea. 1 stars
6/07/01 Dean Awful acting, laughable costumes, idiotic remake. May Gus Van Sant burn in hell. 1 stars
4/26/01 Spetters WHY!!!???????!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
4/16/01 Rampage I agree with you, Monster W. Kung! Sucked shit! 1 stars
3/25/01 Monster W. Kung One of the lamest remakes ever. A huge pile of steaming shit. 1 stars
2/15/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Neither honored nor insulted the original. Great cast. 4 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla i hope that the originator of this shitbag burns in hell and be haunted by hitchcocks curse 1 stars
9/14/00 Ground Zero Get that Van Sant dud off that site! That remake sucked like shit! 1 stars
7/23/00 Tyler Peterson Whoever thought up this horseshit should be drug out into the street and shot. 1 stars
7/18/00 Digitalus Tell that Van Sant dud to sthu (shut the hell up)! This stinks on the classic 1 stars
6/05/00 JonnyA This film didn't need to be made, but Vince is a mufuckin pimp, biznatch. 3 stars
5/29/00 todd ugh 1 stars
5/05/00 TIGGER This shits on the original 1 stars
4/15/00 malcolm not as good as the original but 1000 x better than any scream movie 4 stars
3/09/00 Mr. Kramitall That's not Norman beating off, it's Van Sant. Lowlife killed Psycho. 1 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Neither honored nor insulted the original. Really good cast. 5 stars
1/25/00 Chris Whitney I loved it. A neat twist on a classic 5 stars
12/18/99 SID I figured since it was only retreading the original, it couldn't be that bad. Oops. 2 stars
10/20/99 Lame-Oh Worse than The Haunting! Why screw up a perfect classic? 1 stars
8/19/99 Matthew Bartley WHY? 1 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg What's the point of remaking a masterpiece if you're not gonna improve anything? Waste. 2 stars
5/02/99 Oz A sham of a remake and they should be shot for trying, Hitchcock is rolling in his grave 1 stars
4/24/99 gibb it wasen't that bad 3 stars
4/20/99 baps WHAT HAPPENED? See the original 2 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam Not good 2 stars
4/04/99 Albert Ugh -- "Psycho," starring Peter Pan. 1 stars
3/20/99 Dee Dee That movie was toilet. 1 stars
3/12/99 Joe Schmoe Pretty bad for a remake of a classy movie. 1 stars
3/06/99 Mike Rotch Superfly's review sucks! The movie stunk and Norman was awful. 1 stars
3/05/99 Gary Stevens Is it because of my youth, or am I wrong in saying that this Psycho is just as good? 4 stars
2/25/99 Viral Messiah Worse than the classic. Like this one and you deserve a goddam beating. 1 stars
2/20/99 MR HOLLYWOOD!! Heche & Vaughn give the film a new light,at least Van Sant tried. 3 stars
2/18/99 Bishop Why was this necessary? Not as bad as people say though, Vauhgn's not bad, but not money. 3 stars
2/16/99 Uncle Roy I saw it to hear Norman beat off 1 stars
2/02/99 Jacques Strap Damn Van Sant. He directs crap. 1 stars
1/29/99 James E. Laczkowski There are words to describe my animosity towards this horrid trash!!! 1 stars
1/28/99 Whiplash Who cares about total-net dude? Nobody. This movie is bullshit! 1 stars
1/28/99 Brandi Gilbert sucked 1 stars
1/27/99 Kooky Sal Too bad total-net boy. You're now banned. 3 stars
1/25/99 Chad Touchette Too short of a movie, but it was awesome. 4 stars
1/23/99 MR HOLLYWOOD!! If you havent seen the original,watch this first,great to kill 2 hours with! 4 stars
1/22/99 TB I think they should change the name of this movie too.... "Vince Vaughn... You Devil, You!" 3 stars
1/19/99 Odd Pieman Did he jack off in the original or was that some special edition footage cut from the orig? 2 stars
1/14/99 jvt Van Sant's last 2 movies prove he can screw up even the best source material. 1 stars
1/12/99 Kevin Maynard The original was a classic. This wasn't as good, but still better than a Kevin Williamson. 4 stars
1/12/99 Doug Dogg Master. Bates finished jacking of in about 10 seconds...what a bitch 1 stars
1/11/99 Joe C. It was good but not as great as the original... but it is worth taking a look at. 4 stars
1/11/99 Doug Dogg i come to see anne hesche's muff, i get some dude's hairy ass, fuck you Van sant 1 stars
1/10/99 Heather It was borning 2 stars
1/06/99 E That's not Norman beating off, it's Van Sant. Asshole ruined Psycho. 1 stars
1/03/99 Fartass Worse than the classic version. Like this stupid remake and you oughta get a bitchslap! 1 stars
1/03/99 Negative Creep Hilarious film, if youve seen the original 3 stars
12/31/98 FRED groovy movie baby!!! I did Anne Heche. 5 stars
12/30/98 Bill Hartman A great tribute to Hitchcock! Van Sant does the classic justice. 4 stars
12/26/98 Jennifer Its been said before: never fuck with a classic. I did kinda like the end, though 3 stars
12/24/98 agsmith I kinda liked it.. Is that so wrong? Price I would pay to see this: $4.00 4 stars
12/24/98 Van It was SO great. If you're a Vince fan, you'll wanna see it!! 5 stars
12/24/98 Daddy Rich A replica that is just average 3 stars
12/21/98 Binky Much as you might hate the concept (as I do) on it's own this is a fair film. No classic. 3 stars
12/20/98 Mr Showbiz A worshipfully faithful replica. 4 stars
12/20/98 Tom Ripley Completely falls apart during the parlor scene, and never recovers. 1 stars
12/19/98 Jason Stein Stay WAYYYY the hell away from this piece of crap 1 stars
12/13/98 Zak Mc Graw Psycho '98 was great. It was almost as good as the original, and the original was classic 4 stars
12/13/98 kozmic fresh look , same old story. you won't miss anything 3 stars
12/12/98 Rodger Pille It's certainly not original at all, but it's still a great plot. 3 stars
12/12/98 nathan good 5 stars
12/12/98 Joseph Blow Ars Gratis Ars 5 stars
12/12/98 DrEvil If a filmmaker does not have an original vision, why bother? More wasted money. 1 stars
12/11/98 Mike Mc vaughn was not the right man for this..maybe edward norton? nice try, but no prize 3 stars
12/10/98 Marion Davies Hitchcock would throw up nonstop after seeing this bastardized ripoff of his classy flick! 2 stars
12/09/98 Lord Dennis Oh yeah, young people won't watch a black and white movie. Well, guess what? TOUGH!!! 1 stars
12/08/98 Jumbles Impressive re-creation. Ineffective re-make. 2 stars
12/06/98 Mr Showbiz No tacky rip-off, it's a worshipfully faithful replica of the original. 4 stars
12/06/98 Johny Go rent the original and aviod this piece of crap, please. It gives a good film a bad name. 1 stars
12/05/98 16 in. of swingin' meat and a bucket of balls Hitchcock must be rolling over in his grave. Watch the original and skip this turd film. 1 stars
10/29/98 zenball there's a reason the original is a classic. don't fuck with it 1 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee Awful, awful, awful. This film will die very quickly. 2 stars
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  04-Dec-1998 (R)
  DVD: 24-Aug-2004



Directed by
  Gus Van Sant

Written by
  Jospeh Stefano

  Vince Vaughan
  Anne Heche
  William H. Macy
  Robert Forster
  Viggo Mortenson

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