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Psycho (1998) – Horror / Thriller

My first encounter with a Horror movie dates back to mid 80’s, while watching the then horrors like “Evil Dead”, “Nightmare on Elm Street” etc my dad challenged us to sit through Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. I still remember that fateful night – when we bloody three brothers started that movie which was to be followed by another classic “The Birds”, I am sure I did not sit for more than 20 minutes and later refused to turn off the lights for like a week. My second stint with Psycho came in mid 90’s again when I got the DVD free with my first home theatre and again I did a mistake of trying to watch it again in the night – followed by the whole freaking weekend – I kept all the lights of my apartment turned on, was too scared to take calls on my phone and didn’t barge out of the house at all. My final and third opportunity came in late 90’s when the movie was again released on big screen – thanks to some ongoing film festival in Delhi. I and my best buddy in Noida dared ourselves to watch it on big screen this time and went ahead – booked our tickets. What followed was an out of this world experience guys. I actually saw half of the people specially girls with their boyfriends rushing out of the theater in flat first half hour (First Murder). We somehow set through the whole movie and totally loved it. I have still not forgotten its killer background score with 100 violins playing together in sync giving us Goosebumps all the time. It was shit scary and today I saw Gus Van Sant’s version of classic “Psycho” and will say only one sentence – this is how you make a drama cum thriller out of a terrific horror movie. I am now going to gather my guts again and watch the classic – once my wife comes back home.
Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn
The Movie: If you do not compare it with the original – it still can be called a damn good thriller at best – will certainly not call it a horror though. Fortunately they did not temper with the original story and kept it straight like the earlier version, with Marion Crane (Anne Heche) on run with her boss’s $400 thousand dollars. As she is being followed by a suspicious cop, she takes a break at a motel whose owner happens to be a psycho. Anne Heche as the girl was good for the role – I actually liked her – she was quite convincing in the character. Vince Vaughn was damn good as Norman Bates the psycho – I guess if the movie would have worked – this should have been called his best work to date, totally awesome job by him but unfortunately the comparisons were inevitable hence the failure. Norman Bates stays in a scary house with his Mother, who keeps shouting on him as we can over hear it from the motel, although she is never shown on screen but audience can definitely see a shadow in the window at times. The whole background of the motel even the house behind it – is almost scene to scene same – I wonder how they got something like that – it almost looked identical as in the original. I guess it doesn’t work for the audience because we already know what’s going to happen next hence no surprises. But for someone – who hasn’t heard or seen the earlier movie – it would still be a first rate thriller at least. After she is killed and dumped in a pond by Norman – she was followed by a private detective Arbogast (William H Macy) – who again gets killed in the same way. Fortunately before being killed – he lets Marion’s Sister Lila (Julianne Moore) know his location and some facts about her being in the motel etc. After Arbogast’s disappearance Lila joined by Marion’s boyfriend comes over to the motel in search of her sister and detective. They do meet the county sheriff and inform him of the disappearance of both the guys with no trace of money. What happens next – is a thrilling ride in the motel and that scary house behind it.
Julianne Moore
It is definitely a great one time watch for those who haven’t seen the original and if you have already seen it – it still works like a good thriller – I had those “Oh Fuck” moment twice while I saw it today. I am actually too scared to watch horror movies alone – hence I saw it on a sunny afternoon today but now I am planning to see the original with my wife that too in the night as she has no idea about the movie yet. I will be posting the experience shortly – keep reading. If you haven’t seen this – go ahead – take a look – who knows, you might end up liking it.

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