PSYCHO II (1983)
Directed by Richard Franklin
Featuring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly
What it is: Sequel to a classic
Having been cured of his madness, Norman Bates has been released from the mental institution. However, on returning to his home, he begins to find clues that his mother is still alive…
I’m going to forgo the question as to whether there should have been any sequels to the original Hitchcock masterpiece in the first place. Instead, I’m just going to be grateful that the first sequel, whether it should have been made or not, didn’t take the easy way out and merely recycle the original. Rather, it addresses the issue as to what might happen if Norman was released from the asylum, and how those who would rather he stayed there for life react to such an event. As such, it does give Anthony Perkins a chance to elaborate on the character for which he was most famous, and the story does have its share of effective moments and decent plot twists, though with plenty of references to the original movie. In short, it’s not an embarrassment. It is, however, far from perfect; the plot is extremely contrived, and there are several plot holes to make the road somewhat bumpy. I do feel rather ambivalent about the ending; as much as I admire the audacity of taking the movie in a full circle with the original one, I can’t help but feel a little dismay that it sets things up so that any further sequels can feel free to imitate the original movie if they wish. And, though I haven’t seen them yet, there were further sequels.