Halloween Week Day 2 – Part 2: “Psycho” (1960) vs. “Psycho” (1998)

The original Psycho movie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960, is one of the greatest movies ever made; it is a classic. Its 1998 remake, not so much. Directed by Gus Van Sant, the remake doesn’t stand a chance against its predecessor, and even if you don’t take the original one in consideration, 98’s Psycho isn’t that good.

Psycho (1960)

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This movie is a masterpiece. Suspenseful, beautifully shot and offering us one of the most iconic movie villains ever created, Psycho is definitely an important movie, not only for Hitchcock’s career, but for the entire History of cinema. We are first introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), thinking we are meeting our main character, only to later be outplayed by the film itself; something not many movies succeed to do. For most of its running time, the movie seems to be going in a certain direction, but in the end, we realize how foolish we were not to concentrate on the other part of the story. I also have to mention the use of the black and white colouring, which is amazing. It allows the movie’s Film Noir vibes to stand out distinctively. As for the acting, it is great, especially Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, who really does make us feel uncomfortable, even though we also kinda pity him. He brings a certain boyish charm to an otherwise uncanny character.

Psycho (1960): A

Psycho (1998)

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Not only are most of the actors’ performances in the remake superbly inferior, the characters also have a lot less depth and complexity. The remake doesn’t bring anything new to the story; most of it remains unchanged, and the few changes that are made are definitely not in the favour of the film. Most of the movie is a poorly executed shot by shot, line by line remake. The original movie makes great use of suspense and the character of Norman Bates is really intriguing. The remake though, lets us know way too early how deranged Norman really is, taking away a lot of the suspense of the story. Plus, Vince Vaughn’s portrayal of Norman Bates is incredibly off and we absolutely cannot take this character as seriously as we should in this version. It is almost as if the movie either doesn’t even try to be good, or tries a bit too much and fails impressively.

Psycho (1998): D

 

In conclusion, should you watch the remake? Not really. It’s not even a “so bad, it’s good” kind of movie, it’s just plain bad. You should definitely check out the original one thought, I promise you will not regret it.