What in the world was Gus Van Sant thinking?
In 1998, Van Sant, best known at that time for "Good Will Hunting" decided that he would remake PSYCHO as his next project.
A remake is one thing and dangerous enough when you think about taking on anything by Hitchcock, but Van Sant took the insanity to the next level by committing to a shot-for-shot remake of the original, using the same exact script as the original, the same music score and many of the same camera set ups down to the same editing.
It's a very odd film.
Vince Vaughn is Norman Bates, effectively creepy but a a far cry from Anthony Perkins. Anne Heche is Marion Crane, Julianne Moore is Lila Crane and Viggo Mortensen is Sam Loomis.
There are some interesting moments. As a huge fan of the original, I enjoyed seeing the new Bates Motel, the new creepy Bates house on the hill, the full color version of famous scenes, William H Macy's take of Arbogast falling backward down the stairs when attacked my mother and certainly the digitally enhanced, newly recorded full orchestra version of Bernard Herrman's classic score.
But at the end of the day, with only two shots lasting less than a combined 5 seconds added to the identical remake, there isn't enough fresh or interesting in Van Sant's Psycho to make it anything but a pale, bloody imitation of Hitchcock's REAL thing.
The only thing truly PSYCHO is that this thing ever got made. We'll give it a D, but only thanks to the cast's valiant efforts under the worst of circumstances.