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Steven W. Hill | Chicago, IL United States | 02/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How can you top the original PSYCHO?You can't.But you can do it justice, and PSYCHO II accomplishes that. Its most important key to success, coming over 20 years after the first film, is the return of the same performers - Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and the HOUSE. Using the same exact house/motel set lends this sequel incalculable credibility and continuity. Without it, the movie probably would have been "just another sequel."Perkins is simply outstanding as Norman (gotta love the way he says "cu- u- utlery") and Meg Tilly and Robert Loggia are nicely cast in their roles. The plot has a nice handful of twists throughout, and a whopper of an afterthought ending. Jerry Goldsmith provides a fine score, wisely avoiding the temptation to mimic Herrmann's original.The DVD presentation is full-frame, but DON'T let that stop you from buying it. The film is open-matte, which means a widescreen version would simply MASK the top and bottom. In other words, this is NOT a pan-and-scan presentation. There is nothing chopped off at the sides. Instead, you're seeing MORE picture here than you would if it were presented in widescreen format.Picture and sound quality are good, and the lack of extras is not too disappointing, really, and it's a decent price.To sum up: great acting, good direction from a Hitchcock apprentice, good score, good plot, good picture and sound, and excellent continuity from the original film. If you're a devotee of Hitchcock's film and you've never seen this, I urge you to give it a try. It really does do justice to the original."
Excellent Sequel 4.5 stars
Amy Lynn | Pennsylvania United States | 04/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Smart, entertaining and creepy sequal to the masterpiece Pyscho. Stars anthony perkins in his returning role as Norman Bates. Very clever plot and really good acting. Norman is coming home after being declared sane nearly 22 years later but marion cranes sister isnt to happy about that so her and her daughter devise a plan/ wont say what it is cause i dont want to give story away but the movie is excellent and more murders happen. The ending is also clever. Meg Tilly is excellent as Lila loomis's daughter/ all the actors in the movie are good but she stands out and norman is excellent as always. Dvd also includes the shower scene from the original psycho. This is probably the best sequal to a horror film ive ever seen. First rate thriller. Highly recomended."
The "Mother" of all sequels (heh, heh)
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 07/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, I can use my Goodtimes DVD of Psycho 2 for a coaster! A belated thanks to Universal for finally giving this superior sequel a decent DVD release.
As for the film itself, it's certainly one of the best sequels ever made. It's 22 years later, and Norman Bates is judged restored to sanity. He takes back his roadside motel from a sleazy manager (a pre-NYPD BLUE Dennis Franz), and takes in a seemingly innocent waitress (Meg Tilly). But even though Norman has put his past behind him, he starts getting notes from "Mother." And someone (Norman?) is dressing up like Mrs. Bates and soon the Bates Motel is back in business, 1960-style.
There are a few surprises--although the identity of the murderer is fairly obvious long before it's revealed. Director Richard Franklin even throws in an admirable Hitchcock cameo! The pacing is deliberate and slow by today's standards, but the performances should hold your attention. Anthony Perkins deserves special mention for recreating his role as the screen's most sympathetic serial killer; his "toasted cheese sandwich" speech is probably the most emotional scene in all four PSYCHO films.
Psycho 2 is a first-rate sequel, one made with obvious care and attention to characters...a far cry from the seemingly endless cycle of slasher films being released around the same time."
As good as sequels get.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 07/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The original "Psycho," a classic in the great tradition of Hitckcock's many films, brought so much to the world of movies that it was hard to imagine that any sequel to a movie as stupendous as this would be any good. Sequels, especially those of the horror genre, tend to be very trite and uninvolving, which is why, after watching "Psycho II," I was in a state of shock over how good it actually was. Of course, it's not Hitchcock, and will never live up to the caliber of the first film, but for what it's worth, it gets its formula right and keeps it right. The movie picks up many years later, after the horrific murders at the Bates Motel, and Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) has just been released back into the world despite harsh protest from Lila Crane (Vera Miles), the sister who stopped at nothing to find her sister, Bates's shower victim. He returns to the motel, a drug-ridden sex house run by a sleazy man, and to his home, the place where his mental problems all began. And soon they begin resurfacing. He is haunted once again by the voice of his mother, as well as by images of events gone by. At his new job, he is befriended by Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), who, after being kicked out by her boyfriend, moves into Norman's house. From the beginning, she feels very uncomfortable there, even more so when strange, incriminating things occur. Of course, all eyes look to Norman, but we know that he is not responsible. But who is? It's hard to believe that this movie is as good as it is, though it's not so hard to explain why. The movie gets it right by choosing to place most of the movie in the Bates home, which was rarely seen in the first film. Recalling the way in which that house looked so foreboding from the outside, it's absolutely intriguing to actually see the guts of it, to get to see the inside of the house. Seeing everything inside makes the voices and images that haunt Norman believable and convincing. Perkins must also be commended for the film's surprising success. He is able to keep the timidity and degree of gentility that his character possessed in the first outing, and that's what makes us able to care more for him in this film. There's also a very nice suspense and mystery factor to be dealt with, something unusual in horror sequels. The movie wastes no time in setting Norman up for a fall that is not his fault, and up until the point when we know who is actually behind everything that goes on, the movie is very tense and interesting. And then we have a nicely done climax, in which all is revealed to the viewer, and we realize what has been going on. But just as we can begin to feel some sort of slight sympathy for Norman, the movie goes on, and in the final, anticlimactic sequence involving a woman claiming to be his mother, the movie ends with yet another possibility of a sequel, and things go sour. But, for what it's worth, "Psycho II" stands on its own as one of the better horror sequels to come along ever. It stays in touch with the nuances of the original, and plays on its old tricks in new ways. The mystery and intrigue can sometimes reach a fever pitch, though the ending is a bit unfitting. All-in-all, a well-crafted thriller."
Anthony Capialbi | Brooklyn, New York | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PSYCHO 2 is a movie I have been waiting very long for release on dvd in widescreen format. Formally released in pan/scan by Goodtimes Video. Finally it's here in Sept. 2005. It's a must see, must have thriller for any fan of the original Psycho film. Storline has many twists and turns and is blessed with a super script.....What happens after Norman Bates is released from the insane asylum years later? You'll want to know so see this film."