Psycho II Review: The Forgotten Movie

Psycho 2 deserves more love

What's a movie that deserves more love? A question you have probably been asked before, and my answer is always Psycho II. The first film is a classic, and one that is talked about a lot, and rightly so, it's a masterpiece, but the 2nd is often forgotten and less discussed, when it is an excellent film.

Doing a follow up to a masterpiece so far apart could have gone so wrong, yet it went so right.

Background on Psycho II

Following the success of the original Psycho, released in 1960, there was of course a demand for a sequel, and after more than two decades, Psycho II finally hit the big screens in 1983. The film was directed by Richard Franklin and written by Tom Holland, and it takes place 22 years after the original storyline. Anthony Perkins reprised his role as Norman Bates, and the film also stars Meg Tilly, Vera Miles, and Robert Loggia.

The plot picks up with Norman being released from a mental institution, declared sane by the state of California. He returns to his old home and the infamous Bates Motel. The film explores Bates' attempts to reintegrate into society while facing ongoing threats and suspicion from those around him. There are elements of psychological thriller and horror, with the film diving into the complexities of Bates' character and the lingering impact of his past.

My Thoughts

As I mentioned above, this movie deserves way more love, and when I recently re-watched it, my opinion grew stronger, it's just a brilliant film! 

The movie effectively delves into the challenges faced by Norman Bates as he attempts to reintegrate into society after his release from a mental institution. The complexity of Bates' character and the psychological suspense surrounding his interactions with those around him help create quite a thought-provoking narrative.

It manages to retain the essence of the original film, and pays homage to it as well, while also introducing new layers.. I love watching Bates' internal struggle to lead a normal life, with the lingering impact of his past hanging over his shoulder. 

It's a movie that stands on his own two feet, and it is amazing the amount of people I speak to who have seen and loved the first movie, but not watched the excellent sequel.

Norman Bates

Norman Bates is quite the complex and multifaceted character, portrayed brilliantly by Anthony Perkins. His portrayal of Bates captures the internal struggle and psychological torment that define the character. From his release from a mental institution to his attempts to live a normal life, Bates grapples with the lingering impact of his past and the challenges of reintegrating into society.

Bates' character is marked by a deep sense of isolation and vulnerability, as he navigates the suspicion and threats from those around him. The portrayal of his internal turmoil and the complexities of his psyche makes him a compelling focal point.

One of the most interesting aspects of his character is his vulnerability to manipulation and deceit, as seen in his interactions with Mary, played by Meg Tilly. We know what he is and what he did, but we also understand some his struggles as well. Do we actually feel some empathy towards him?

Supporting Cast

While Anthony Perkins' portrayal of Norman Bates is the highlight of the movie, the performances of Vera Miles and Meg Tilly deserve a lot of praise as well. Vera Miles returns as Lila Loomis, the sister of Marion Crane, who was killed by Norman in the original film. 

Miles brings a sense of gravitas to her role and helps provide a connection to the events of the first film. Her performance is nuanced and layered, and she delivers some of the film's most memorable moments. 

Meg Tilly also shines as Mary, a young woman who befriends Norman after he is released from a mental institution. Her chemistry with Perkins is clear for all to see, and their scenes together are some of the film's best.

Final Rating

I would give Psycho II an 8/10, while not as impactful and brilliant as the first (Which is a 9.5/10 for me), it's an excellent sequel that deserves more love, as it is often forgotten about when discussing Psycho, but as said, it stands on his own two feet. 

It's full of mystery and twist and turns, and if you have never seen it, you are doing yourself a massive dis-service.

Psycho also has a 3rd and 4th movie as well, which aren't too bad, but nowhere near as good as the first two.  [Psycho II on IMDB]

What did you think of the movie? Let me know your thoughts on the movie in the comments or connect with me on my horror twitter and horror Instagram pages.

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