Writer: Tom Holland (Screenplay)
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Hugh Gillin, Claudia Bryar
Plot: After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the specters of his crimes – and his mother – continue to haunt him.
Tagline – Norman Bates is back. Coming home was a bad mistake!
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Good Sequel
Story: Psycho II starts when Norman Bates (Perkins) gets released after 22-years in psychiatric care against the wishes of Lila (Miles), returning to his home overlooking the Bates Motel, taking a job in the local diner and opening his door to waitress Mary (Tilly) after she breaks up with her boyfriend.
It isn’t long before Norman starts believing he is seeing his mother and receiving phone calls and notes from people, even with him trying to put his life back together by reopening the motel to the public. Can he keep everything together or is he still unstable to the public?
Thoughts on Psycho II
Characters – Norman Bates is now out of hospital trying to return to his normal life, he seems fully recovered, but it doesn’t take long before he starts to question his own sanity believing his mother has returned to him or being made to play the victim to someone else’s game. Lila is against Norman being released and she will do anything to stop him from living a normal life. Mary is the waitress that is offered a room by Norman believing he has been cured and now she starts to see the good in him, though she isn’t completely what she seems to be.
Performances – Anthony Perkins is good in this leading role showing the unstable side of his character when needed. Vera Miles is good in her role but doesn’t get too much to do. Meg Tilly is a good addition to the cast, she is strong throughout the film keeping her character a mystery.
Story – The story here follows the release of Norman Bates after years locked away as he must come to terms with re-entering society while people still don’t want him released. This is an interesting spin on the idea of the villain from a previous film returning, because it is the time required in hospital before released served and does deal with the idea that being let back into society isn’t going to be accepted by all. Having Norman questioning his own sanity helps us along the way and the twist that comes through the film makes everything tie together nicely.
Crime/Horror/Mystery – The criminal has been released back into normal life which shows us just what it would be like as both sides can argue the point, the horror comes from where the new list of bodies starting to pile up with the mystery being who is behind the killing spree.
Settings – The film does take us back to the iconic Bates Motel which gives us the best scenes, every time we leave we are left feeling out of place though.
Special Effects – The effects do try to use the less is more technique only for it not to come off on the level of the original.
Final Thoughts – This is a good sequel to the classic, it builds on the ideas of Norman Bates being released after serving his time and now we see the next chapter of the story.
Overall: Sequel well worth watching.