You must have seen Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho, it’s a true masterpiece in filmmaking. I cannot speak highly enough about how brilliant that film is, but have you seen the sequel Psycho II from 1983. It’s a pretty brave director to take on the Psycho franchise and even more so if you intend to remake it. Why any director worth one’s salt would take that on is beyond me. But I’m not looking at the remake merely the sequel. The reason I’m looking at the sequel is it’s recently come out on Blu-ray thanks to Arrow Video. So without further ado here’s my Psycho II Blu-ray Review.
- Psycho II Blu-ray Review (1983)
- Running Time: 113 Mins
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 1
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 31st July 2017
Set 22 years on from the events of the first film, Norman Bates is deemed safe enough to be released from the mental institution back into the community. Once back he returns to the scene of his crimes, the house and the Bates motel.
Now back home he takes a job in the local dinner where he strikes up a friendship with a young waitress, Mary Samuels. Following a breakup with her boyfriend Norman offers Mary a place to stay.
Norman Bates soon begins to experience strange events, did he really just see his mother at the window or is someone playing with his fragile mind. Have the tables been turned?
Written & Tom Holland.
Style / Direction
The film doesn’t simply try to compete with the original but attempts to move the story on with a new twist. The result is an excellent sequel that not only looks great but has an engrossing story and strong acting performances. The film plays on Norman’s mental state, is he really having a relapse or is someone manipulating him into a breakdown.
It’s very stylishly constructed and the pacing is spot on.
Directed by Richard Franklin, with the cinematography being handled by Dean Cundey.
Music / Audio Effects
How do you follow the tremendous score by Bernard Herrmann well you don’t. What you do is hire Jerry Goldsmith and he provides the perfect alternative that really helps ramp up the mystery and tension.
Overall it’s a good score.
Acting / Characters
Anthony Perkins reprises his role as Norman Bates and has you captivated throughout the film. You are made to feel sympathy for his plight despite the events of the first film. Perkins is brilliant as the tortured soul on the brink of insanity while still keeping that air of innocence from Psycho.
Vera Miles also reprises her role from the first film of Lila Loomis which is a rather nice touch and helps to give the story some true purpose.
Robert Loggia plays Dr. Bill Raymond, Norman Bate’s doctor/psychiatrist. His performance gives the story far more gravitas and intrigue.
Lastly Meg Tilly plays waitress Mary Samuels whom befriends Norman and moves in with him at the infamous house. She really does improve the overall film, it’s a very strong performance, is she Norman’s friend or is she the enemy? Either way she appears to be the sweet and kind person Norman needs to be around.
The casting is perfect and enables the sequel to become an extremely good film in its own right.
Conclusion – Psycho II Film Review
Sequels always try to be bigger, better, higher body count. Refreshingly Psycho II underplays it if anything relying on the psychological torture rather than pure body count. It works extremely well and makes for a thoroughly engrossing and intriguing story packed full of tension. That said don’t worry there are still several murders but it’s the reason that they occur that makes them fascinating.
In the end maybe justice in some bizarre way is meted out!
Psycho II is in my opinion an accomplished sequel that has been somewhat underrated for many years. I think with this new blu-ray release it high time we all take another look and appreciate it for what it is, and that is the best possible sequel to Hitchcock’s masterpiece.
Psycho II Blu-ray Review
I have no complaints with this release, the picture quality is simply perfect. The image is sharp and clear with the colours vibrant, furthermore there no signs of any speckles or dirt marks.
On to the extras and Arrow Video are well know for providing exceptional extras and Psycho II has yet another fabulous collection. Behind the Curtains is a especially interesting watch providing many interesting insights into all the sequels, including many stories on set with Anthony Perkins.
Put simply this is an excellent release from Arrow Video and one I strongly recommend purchasing if you are looking for the best possible version.
- Audio Commentary with screenwriter Tom Holland
- Behind the Curtain: The Masters of Horror on Psycho (43 mins)
- Giving Bloch His Due (9 mins)
- Anthony Perkins TV & Audio Interviews
- Audio Interview with Director Richard Franklin
- Richard Franklin on-set
- Vintage Featurettes with Perkins, Franklin & Vera Miles
- Psycho II Promotional Record
- Psycho II Demo by composer Jerry Goldsmith
- Trailers & TV Spots
- Resersible Sleeve
On to my movie rating for Psycho II (1983)
- Movie Rating: RECOMMENDED
- Blu-ray Picture: PERFECT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Psycho II (1983) is available now on Blu-ray priced £14.99 from Amazon (as of date of review)
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
If you like my Psycho II Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- Burnt Offerings (1976)
- Deep Red (1975)
- Inferno (1980)
- Night Train Murders (1975)
- Suspiria (1977)
- Tenebrae (1982)
- The Amityville Horror (1979)
- The Burning (1981)
- The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
So that’s my Psycho II Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Psycho II Blu-ray Review (1983)
Director(s): Richard Franklin
Actor(s): Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia
Genre: Horror, Mystery
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Psycho II is accomplished if somewhat underrated sequel, that looks fantastic on Blu-ray.