Paranoiac (1963)

Article #626 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12/1/2002
Posting date: 4/26/2003

A woman thinks she is going crazy because she keeps seeing her dead brother. Then when a man who resembles her brother shows up, her mother and other brother become suspicious.

This is another variation on PSYCHO, and though it’s hardly terrible, it is very disappointing. One of the most striking things about PSYCHO is the performance of Anthony Perkins, who plays a character with a full range of human emotions; an equivalent character here is played by Oliver Reed, but the only emotion he seems to give his character is one of violent intensity, and though he is quite good at displaying this emotion, it becomes tedious over the full length of the movie. It’s also problematic in that it leaves the character with no real surprises, and that’s a problem that extends to almost everyone in this movie; you can pick out the people who are really mad, the one who only thinks they’re mad, and the one who is kind-hearted and compassionate easily, and though this would not be a problem in many movies, it short-circuits one that is trying to rely on unexpected plot twists and surprising developments. As it is, nothing in this movie surprises me, which is certainly something I could never say about PSYCHO. It’s also why I like PSYCHO so much better.


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