Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
Cast
Anthony Perkins
Vera Miles
Meg Tilly
Robert Loggia
Dennis Franz.
Directors
Richard Franklin.
Screenwriters
Tom Holland.
Running Time
minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Psycho II
It's twenty years on and Norman Bates is out of the asylum and cured...or is he?


submit to reddit


Plot
Norman Bates is released from an insane asylum, despite the protests of the sister of his most famous victim. Returning to his home, Norman worries that his mother has returned to torment him.


Review

A two-decades-on sequel to a true classic might sound like a terrible idea, but Psycho II is a smart, blackly-comic thriller. 
 
Remembering that the original was as much mystery as shocker, screenwriter Tom Holland weaves a clever, surprising plot around Norman Bates. Here, the fragile, nearly-sane Norman is besieged by insensitive clods like the manager (Dennis Franz, wonderfully crass) who has been getting the Bates Motel a bad reputation as ‘an adult motel’ and a callous plot by the vindictive Lilah (Vera Miles, returning to her old role) to drive him crazy again. 
 
Meg Tilly is interestingly ambiguous as a waitress who befriends Norman, but turns out to be part of the plot against him – and unwittingly the cause of a last-reel disaster as she becomes one of several surrogate mothers to take up the wig, dress and knife.
 
 The wittiest dark joke is that the entire world wants Norman to be mad, and ‘normality’ can only be restored if he’s got a mummified mother in the window and is ready to kill again.
 
 Director Richard Franklin stages ‘80s-style gore effects but seems more interested in character quirks. 
 
Though two further sequels show some decline in quality, they’re still interesting: Psycho III, directed by Perkins, finds Norman nearly entering a relationship with an equally screwed-up woman, a suicidal ex-nun (Diana Scarwid); and Psycho IV: The Beginning, directed for TV by Mick Garris from a script by Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano, delves into the backstory as Perkins recounts Norman’s early life - with terrific work from Henry Thomas as young Norman and an unexpected Olivia Hussey as Mother.


Verdict
Surprisingly, even after waiting 20 years, they managed to turn out a smart, darkly-comic thriller with some imaginitive twists.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Psycho II
Empire Star Rating

Not bad

Iconic hotel, iconic character and a few laugh out loud moments. I liked it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sephiroth7 at 10:04, 03 July 2012 | Report This Post


Re-Checking In To the Bates Motel.

Psycho, is basically an art form. But sadly just like Marion Crane, it was butchered by numerous sequels and a remake. But before it was laid to rest, Psycho II was made, as surprisingly good. Norman is back after 23 years, along with returning star, Vera Miles as Lila Crane, who now altough completely ignored in the film, has now married to the deceased Sam Loomis. With support from the excellent Meg Tilly as Lila's daughter who provides a good but not as shocking plot twist. The film goes down... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kurtis93 at 22:35, 01 April 2010 | Report This Post


Psycho 2

One of the better sequels in horror folklore. If you don't take it too seriously and take it as it is there is a good twisted little film here. A fantastic performance from Anthony Perkins at its core, playing Norman Bates with touches of dark humour and at times towering menace, its good to see him return to the role he's so associated with. Meg Tilly gives good support and it surprises me that she never went on to have a bigger career. Uncomparable to the original, but well worth a look, if on... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zombiewarehouse at 20:06, 14 March 2007 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)