Psycho (1998)

Produced & Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Written by: Joseph Stefano
Robert Bloch (Novel)


Vince Vaughn .... Norman Bates
Anne Heche .... Marion Crane
Julianne Moore .... Lila Crane
Viggo Mortenson .... Sam Loomis
William H. Macy .... Detective Milton Arbogast
Robert Forster .... Dr. Fred Simon
Philip Baker Hall .... Sheriff Al Chambers

Special Appearance:

Robert Forster .... Dr. Fred Richmond

Release Date: Theatrical: December 4, 1988; Las Palmas Film Festival: March 8, 2008

*Images courtesy at:







A young woman Marion Crane (Anne Heche) plans to marry her boyfriend Sam Loomis (Viggo Mortenson) and then steals 4,000 dollars from her employer's client.
She travels away from her hometown of Arizona by buying a new car with the money and travels to California one stormy night stays at a hotel owned by a young man Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn) and his eccentric mother who is supposedly staying inside a tall creepy looking house and never comes out but only is heard.
After Norman serves dinner to Marion, she tells him she has to leave the next day and then heads back to her hotel room and has a shower and then the terror begins.
Sam and Marion's sister Lila (Julianne Moore) discovers what Marion has done by stealing the money and try to find some way of tracking her down but she is missing so they try to do some researching at the hotel along with some help by a detective Milton Arbogast (William H. Macy) as they question Norman about Marion's disappearance as well as his mother and why she hasn't left the house.
They are all in for a deadly surprise too.


There's a lustful conversation scene between Sam Loomis and Marion Crane was up to date for the 90's and looked more sexy with him wrapping his arms around her etc.
The camera shot on Marion driving in her car as well as looking exhausted looked quite similar but in color.
There's better camera shots on her taking a shower with the shower going and her bathing in the shower with the silent moment which still brings a chill down your spine that the murder is about to happen and when it does and good fast action camera shots on her being stabbed with a nice close up shot on her hand grabbing the shower curtain before she tumbles to the ground. There's a good shot of the camera full shot on her eye and then zooming away to see her full face with a nice spin around too.
We have a good approach by Lila Crane in a shop approaching Sam and speaking sternly towards him which looked very impressive.
An interesting cheesy shot on Detective Milton Arbogast walking to the top step and then we have a shot on Norman Bates running in for the kill which looked a bit slow. However there's good shots on Milton having his face sliced even if the effects looked quite cheesy.
A nice shot on Lila walking in a field towards the Bates house along with the shot on the house too.
There's many nice takes on her exploring the house as well as her screaming after spotting a reflection of herself in the mirror which almost makes you jump.
A good close up shot on the corpse turned in a chair.
Bottom line: Oh man, the story was exactly the same and if they do a remake at least make it a bit different in which they didn't along with cheesy effects and made on a lower budget. There were some different shots here and there along with the Bates Motel and house looking different but still that's no excuse at all and nowhere near as effective like the original. This was basically an updated version of the 1960 classic.

The acting is in average shape as Vince Vaughn (Norman Bates) tries to fill in Perkins' boots as the disturbed Norman Bates with a split personality. He does his best and comes off okay at times but really doesn't have the same chemistry at all.
Anne Heche
(Marion Crane) had the similar looks like the original actress did and almost pulled her role off quite well. However, she slips a bit with overdoing her nervousness as well as her screaming which doesn't seem too believeable. She also needed to look a bit more believeable while being exhausted while driving in her car. She seemed to do okay with her blood curdling scream but doesn't react too well afterwards when she is constantly stabbed.
Julianne Moore
(Lila Crane) was probably the best actress in the film showing good aggressions and a ton of energy in which I've always enjoyed her shows since I saw her in Boogie Nights since she's a worthy character actress. She also delivered a good scream when she spots a corpse in a chair.
William H. Macy
(Detective Milton Arbogast) was another good one and had the perfect looks for a detective for the film by having that old fashioned appeal to him.

There's a brief breast shot by Anne Heche when she takes off her shirt in her motel room. We also briefly spot a butt shot when she bends down after being stabbed in a shower.
There's a brief breast shot on a model in a porn magazine.

The same music by Bernard Merrmann with it sounding a bit more clear but we all know it's by this same guy and if you want to know about how it sounds view my review on the original film.

Highway Patrol officer: Uh... hold it there. In quite a hurry.
Marion Crane: [nervously] Yes. Uh... I didn't intend to sleep so long. I almost had an accident last night, from sleepiness. So I decided to pull over.
Highway Patrol officer: You slept here all night?
Marion Crane: Yes. As I said, I couldn't keep my eyes open.
Highway Patrol officer: There are plenty of motels in this area. You should've... I mean, just to be safe.
Marion Crane: I didn't intend to sleep all night! I just pulled over. Have I broken any laws?
Highway Patrol officer: No, ma'am.
Marion Crane: Then I'm free to go?
Highway Patrol officer: Is anything wrong?
Marion Crane: Of course not. Am I acting as if there's something wrong?
Highway Patrol officer: Frankly, yes.
Marion Crane: Please... I'd like to go.
Highway Patrol officer: Well, is there?
Marion Crane: Is there what? I've told you there's nothing wrong, except that I'm in a hurry and you're taking up my time.
[starts car engine]
Highway Patrol officer: Now, just a moment! Turn off your motor, please. May I see your license?
Marion Crane: Why?
Highway Patrol officer: Please.

California Charlie, used car salesman: I'm in no mood for trouble.
Marion Crane: What?
California Charlie, used car salesman: There's an old saying, "First customer of the day is always the trouble!" But like I say, I'm in no mood for it so I'm gonna treat you so fair and square that you won't have one human reason to give me...
Marion Crane: Can I trade my car in and take another?
California Charlie, used car salesman: Do anything you've a mind to. Bein' a woman, you will. That yours?
Marion Crane: Yes, it's just that - there's nothing wrong with it. I just...
California Charlie, used car salesman: Sick of the sight of it! Well, why don't you have a look around here and see if there's somethin' that strikes your eyes and meanwhile I'll have my mechanic give yours the once over. You want some coffee? I was just about...
Marion Crane: No, thank you. I'm in a hurry. I just want to make a change, and...
California Charlie, used car salesman: One thing people never oughtta be when they're buyin' used cars and that's in a hurry. But like I said, it's too nice a day to argue. I'll uh - shoot your car in the garage here.

California Charlie, used car salesman: [voiceover while Marion is driving] Heck, Officer, that was the first time I ever saw the customer high-pressure the salesman! Somebody chasin' her?
Highway Patrol officer: I better have a look at those papers, Charlie.
California Charlie, used car salesman: She look like the wrong-one to you?
Highway Patrol officer: Acted like one.
California Charlie, used car salesman: The only funny thing, she paid me seven hundred dollars in cash.
Caroline: Yes, Mr Lowery?
George Lowery, realtor: Caroline? Marion still isn't in?
Caroline: No, Mr Lowery. But then, she's always a bit late on Monday mornings.
George Lowery, realtor: Buzz me the minute she comes in. Then call her sister - if no one's answering at the house.
Caroline: I called her sister, Mr Lowery, where she works, - the Music Makers Music Store, you know, - and she doesn't know where Marion is any more than we do.
George Lowery, realtor: You'd better run out to the house. She may be, well - unable to answer the phone.
Caroline: Her sister's going to do that. She's as worried as we are.
George Lowery, realtor: No, I haven't the faintest idea. As I said, I last saw your sister when she left the office on Friday. She said she didn't feel well and wanted to leave early; I said she could. That was the last I saw - Now wait a minute. I did see her sometime later, driving - Ah, I think you'd better come over here to my office - quick! Caroline, get Mr. Cassidy for me!
George Lowery, realtor: After all, Cassidy, I told you - all that cash! I'm not taking the responsibility! Oh, for heaven's sake! A girl works for you for ten years, you trust her! All right. Yes. You better come over.
Tom Cassidy, home buyer: Well I ain't about to kiss off forty thousand dollars! I'll get it back, and if any of it's missin' I'll replace it with her fine, soft flesh! I'll track her, never you doubt it!
George Lowery, realtor: Oh, hold on, Cassidy! I-I still can't believe - it must be some kind of mystery. I-I can't...
Tom Cassidy, home buyer: You checked with the bank, no? They never laid eyes on her, no? You still trustin'? Hot creepers! She sat there while I dumped it out! Hardly even looked at it! Plannin'! And - even flirtin' with me!

Norman Bates: Dirty night.

Norma Bates: No! I tell you no! I won't have you bringing some young girl in for supper! By candlelight, I suppose, in the cheap, erotic fashion of young men with cheap, erotic minds!
Norman Bates: Mother, please...!
Norma Bates: And then what? After supper? Music? Whispers?
Norman Bates: Mother, she's just a stranger. She's hungry, and it's raining out!
Norma Bates: "Mother, she's just a stranger"! As if men don't desire strangers! As if... ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things, because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on, go tell her she'll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with MY food... or my son! Or do I have tell her because you don't have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?
Norman Bates: Shut up! Shut up!

Norman Bates: You-you eat like a bird.
Marion Crane: [Looking around at the stuffed birds while eating] And you'd know, of course.
Norman Bates: No, not really. Anyway, I hear the expression 'eats like a bird' - it-it's really a
Norman Bates: fals-fals-fals-falsity. Because birds really eat a tremendous lot. But -I-I don't really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know - taxidermy.

Norman Bates: Uh-uh, Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn't quite herself today.

Marion Crane: Wouldn't it be better if you put her... someplace.
Norman Bates: You mean an institution? A madhouse?
Marion Crane: No, I didn't mean it like...
Norman Bates: [suddenly angry] People always call a madhouse "someplace", don't they? "Put her in someplace."
Marion Crane: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so uncaring.
Norman Bates: What do you know about caring? Have you ever seen the inside of one of those places? The laughing, and the tears, and those cruel eyes studying you? My mother there?
[subdued tone]
Norman Bates: Oh, but she's harmless. She's as harmless as one of those stuffed birds.
Marion Crane: I tried to mean well.
Norman Bates: People always mean well. They cluck their thick tongues, and shake their heads and suggest, oh, so very delicately.

Norman Bates: She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?
Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.

Norman Bates: Well, a son is a poor substitute for a lover.
Marion Crane: Why don't you go away?

Marion Crane: Thank you.
Norman Bates: Thank you, Norman.
Marion Crane: Norman.

Norman Bates: Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay just a little while longer? Just for talk?

Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: Your detective told you he couldn't come right back because he was goin' to question Norman Bates' mother. Right?
Lila Crane: Yes
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: Norman Bates' mother has been dead and buried in Greenlawn Cenetery for the past ten years!
Eliza Chambers: I helped Norman pick out the dress she was buried in. Periwinkle blue.
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: 'Tain't only local history, Sam. It's the only case of murder and suicide on Fairvale ledgers.

Officer: He's a tranvestite!
Dr. Fred Richmond: Ah, not exactly. A man who dresses in women's clothing in order to achieve a sexual change, or satisfaction, is a transvestite. But in Norman's case, he was simply doing everything possible to keep alive the illusion of his mother being alive. And when reality came too close, when danger or desire threatened that illusion - he dressed up, even to a cheap wig he bought. He'd walk about the house, sit in her chair, speak in her voice. He tried to be his mother! And uh now he is.
Dr. Fred Richmond: Now that's what I meant when I said I got the story from the mother. You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there's always a conflict, a battle. In Norman's case, the battle is over, - and the dominant personality has won.
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: And the forty thousand dollars? Who got that?
Dr. Fred Richmond: The swamp. These were crimes of passion, not profit.
Officer: [enters room with blanket on arm] He feels a chill. Can I gring him this blanket?
Dr. Fred Richmond: [Lighting cigarette] Oh sure.
Police Chief James Mitchell: All right.

Dr. Fred Richmond: No. I got the whole story - but not from Norman. I got it - from his mother. Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half-existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over. Probably for all time.
Lila Crane: Did he kill my sister?
Dr. Fred Richmond: Yes, - and no.

Dr. Fred Richmond: Like I said... the mother... Now to understand it the way I understood it, hearing it from the mother... that is, from the mother half of Norman's mind... you have to go back ten years, to the time when Norman murdered his mother and her lover. Now he was already dangerously disturbed, had been ever since his father died. His mother was a clinging, demanding woman, and for years the two of them lived as if there was no one else in the world. Then she met a man... and it seemed to Norman that she 'threw him over' for this man. Now that pushed him over the line and he killed 'em both. Matricide is probably the most unbearable crime of all... most unbearable to the son who commits it. So he had to erase the crime, at least in his own mind. He stole her corpse. A weighted coffin was buried. He hid the body in the fruit cellar. Even treated it to keep it as well as it would keep. And that still wasn't enough. She was there! But she was a corpse. So he began to think and speak for her, give her half his time, so to speak. At times he could be both personalities, carry on conversations. At other times, the mother half took over completely. Now he was never all Norman, but he was often only mother. And because he was so pathologically jealous of her, he assumed that she was jealous of him. Therefore, if he felt a strong attraction to any other woman, the mother side of him would go wild.
[Points finger at Lila Crane]
Dr. Fred Richmond: When he met your sister, he was touched by her... aroused by her. He wanted her. That set off the 'jealous mother' and 'mother killed the girl'! Now after the murder, Norman returned as if from a deep sleep. And like a dutiful son, covered up all traces of the crime he was convinced his mother had committed!

Norman Bates' Mother: [in police custody, as Norman is thinking] It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man, as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...”