(1998)

A new vision of a classic nightmare.

A young female embezzler arrives at the Bates Motel, which has terrible secrets of its own. Although this version is in color, features a different cast, and is set in 1998, it is closer to a shot-for-shot remake than most remakes, Gus Van Sant often copying Hitchcock's camera movements and editing, and Joseph Stefano's script is mostly carried over. Bernard Herrmann's musical score is reused as well, though with a new arrangement by Danny Elfman and recorded in stereo.

Horror fans really should thank Gus Van Sant for his experimental "copy exactly" approach to re-making the horror classic Psycho. Filmmakers have learned that just modernizing the original with a bigger budget takes no creativity and falls into tedium and redundancy which most horror fan's hate. Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake, where nearly every scene is "copied exactly," is a perfect example of this.
It was simply BORING. Even for those that never saw this first, the pacing is just too slow for the high-octane generations of the 90's and beyond. For a re-make to resonate with an audience that knows the original by heart, it has to deliver a new and different version while staying within the bounds of the original framework. We should be thankful because no director will try this again. For the secret formula to successful horror re-makes, watch 2012's The Evil Dead, 2004's Dawn of the Dead or David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986).

Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment by Gus Van Sant, Robert Bloch, Joseph Stefano.
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore.

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Keywords: motel stolen money murder psychosis psycho

12/04/1998

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