20 April 2000 | Lionel M.
Not as good as Psycho or Psycho II, but good enough.
My father first rented this film in the summer of 1991. I was about ten years old when I watched it. I didn't understand most of it, but I liked it. I just re-watched it within the last few months as result of a sparked interest in both the movies and the books.
I liked how this film dove into Norman Bates's troubled past (that of course is an understatement). That was probably the best aspect of the film, not much else. I liked how Anthony Perkins once again reprised his signature role as Norman Bates after suffering that horrid humiliation from Psycho III. Olivia Hussey was wicked in this movie as Norman's mother. She must have taken lessons from Faye Dunaway in her role as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. The way she yelled at him and stripped poor Norman of his manhood was just awful. But yet, she managed to stay human in certain scenes of the movie and not be such a demon. Henry Thomas did somewhat a good job playing Norman Bates as a teenager, but his performance lacked the geeky, child-like charm that Anthony Perkins had in the original film.
As for the rest of the actors, well, most of them aren't worth mentioning. Except for Thomas Schuster, who played Chet Rudolph, Norma Bates's midnight cowboy. His character was very cocky and rude, the kind of guy you love to hate. The kind of man mom would bring home and expect you to call dad, which in Norman's case was true. But that never came to pass, if you know the story line.
Director Mick Garris is no Alfred Hitchcock. He is no Richard Franklin either. But he does manage to deliver a good addition to the Psycho series. Not as good as Psycho or Psycho II, but good enough.