Amazon-Video Comedy Central Showtime Apple TV+ DC Universe Disney Plus YouTube Premium HBO Max Peacock source-3036 Netflix Vudu HBO Go Hulu Plus Amazon Prime CBS All Access Verizon

Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Sign in with Facebook Sign in with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Agreement.

Psycho

Yes, the blood swirling down the drain is disgusting in color, as Hitchcock said it would be, though today's moviegoers won't flinch. Let's forgo the rant about creative bankruptcy and cinematic grave-robbing, however ghoulishly appropriate it may be. Gus Van Sant's "re-creation" -- his term, and he insists -- of the granddaddy of serial-killer shockers has a sharp young cast and glorious Deluxe color to recommend it. But its structure and dialogue are clearly of 1960, and what scared audiences then will almost certainly strike kids raised on the unholy trinity of Michael, Jason and Freddy as quaint and slow. In deference to the innocent few who don't know the big secret about Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn) and his mother, we'll keep the plot vague. Desperately in love with Sam (Viggo Mortensen), who won't marry her because he's crippled by family debt, Marion (Anne Heche) is presented with the opportunity to abscond with $400,000 and impulsively succumbs. She never gets to Sam's place, and is last seen at the Bates Motel, which twitchy Norman runs while caring for his sick old mother. Anthony Perkins so made the part of Norman his own that it haunted his career, but Vaughn acquits himself well, as do Heche, Mortensen and Julianne Moore, who plays Marion's concerned sister Lila. If anything, Van Sant's supporting cast is better than the original, and for the most part Van Sant faithfully mimics Hitchcock's striking compositions and camera moves. He adds a couple of bizarre inserts (a bikinied girl and a cow on a highway, recalling MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO) during the film's second murder scene, and they're simply baffling, though he also restores a couple of images -- a fly buzzing around Sam and Marion's seedy hotel room, an overhead shot of a corpse draped crudely over the edge of a tub -- originally lost to censorship and other considerations. But the upshot is that Van Sant's film feels as dated as Hitchcock's, and Hitchcock's has the better excuse.