Writer: Charles Edward Pogue (Screenplay)
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell, Hugh Gillin, Lee Garlington
Plot: Norman Bates falls in love with a fallen nun who stays at the Bates Motel alongside a drifter and a curious reporter. Meanwhile, “mother” is still watching.
Tagline – Norman Bates is back to normal. But Mother’s off her rocker again!
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Decline Has Started
Story: Psycho III starts when nun Maureen (Scarwid) is involved in a terrible accident at the monastery, forcing her on the run receiving a lift from drifter Duane (Fahey). Duane ends up at the Bates Motel getting a job from Norman Bates (Perkins) whose latest guest ends up being Maureen.
When Norman starts seeing Marion Crane in Maureen, he starts to battle his nightmares once again and sees his chance to redeem himself after saving her life, but Mother is always watching him.
Thoughts on Psycho III
Characters – Norman Bates has the Motel open and is looking for support, the town has accepted he has done his time, but he still battles his demons and his mother in his head. His latest guest brings back the memories of Marion Crane and the battle in his mind becomes the toughest since his release. Maureen is a nun that is on the verge of suicide, this leads to a death on the monastery she is part of and her going on the run, ending up at the Bates Motel becoming friends with Norman, little does she know she is similar to Marion Crane.
Performances – Anthony Perkins does keep his performance strong where you can believe how creepy he does feel in each scene, though stepping behind the camera didn’t help keep the focus on his character. Diana Scarwid is good for the most part even if her screaming doesn’t feel as real as it should. Jeff Fahey makes for a good drifter character knowing just how sleezy to make his character.
Story – The story here follows the events of Psycho II as we see where Norman is after what happens at the end of that film, Norman is still balancing his new life with his battle of his mind about his mother as the lost souls find themselves in the motel. The story feels strange when connecting together because we have part romance, part loss of control and neither connect on a level we would enjoy and everything just turns into chaos. For the most part this tries to address the idea of being part of the public again when Norman is clearly unstable. There is a lot of material which tries to balance the idea of the murders happening again only this time Norman believes it might be him.
Horror/Mystery – The horror in this film comes from the additional body count happening, there is no suspense before the murders though, the mystery comes from just whether Norman is in fact killing again or is it in his mind.
Settings – The film does take us back to the Bates Motel which does look creepy still, but is never shown in the fear filled atmosphere of the previous films.
Special Effects – The effects in the film do feel weaker too, as we don’t get to see enough of what is happening to the characters during the murders.
Final Thoughts –This is a weaker addition to the franchise, it doesn’t have enough to make it feel worthy of the franchise and shows the decline we have taken.
Overall: Poor sequel that didn’t even cash grab well.