There is the whole issue with sequels and the fact that they are more often than not, not needed. Well this is the case with Psycho II. The original was a sheer classic. An absolute masterpiece. It didn't really need a sequel for it. That said they went and made one anyway. And I for one am glad that they did; this is a highly commendable sequel that picks up the legacy of Norman Bates from its glory days of old.
The film starts off with the infamous shower scene that was gracing our cinema screens decades ago. It is shown to remind us what happened all that time ago. Well quite frankly how could you forget what happened in the original? Psycho was indeed a film that paved way for numerous others, and thankfully the sequel doesn't try to do the same. Psycho II is only here to bring Anthony Perkins back to the silver screen. He does this with a bang - his acting talents have not deteriorated since .
Psycho II tells the story of Norman Bates twenty-two years after he was locked up in a mental institution. He is let out and goes back in to the society in which he once belonged. He gets a job at the local diner, offers waitress Mary a home, fires the manager of his Motel and re-opens it himself. Norman Bates just wants to live a normal life again. If this film were about Norman Bates living a normal life then we wouldn't have much of a film, would we? Before long Bates is back to his old ways.
As with almost all psychologically unbalanced people - lets face it, Norman Bates will always be a few beers short of a six pack - they can't fully recover. However hard Bates tries he is still convinced that his mother is alive. Possibly this is due to the intervention of Mary and Lila. Yes, Lila is back. She was the sole person who spearheaded the campaign to keep Norman locked away. If it wasn't enough for he to be suspicious of Norman in the first film, she carries on her suspicion in this one too. With due cause though, he did kill her sister after all.
Lila isn't the only part of Psycho that returns for the second installment. The house is back, the Motel is back, the diner is back and so is... 'mother'. If this film were in black and white you could easily mistake it for the original - even the eerie violin pieces come in to play. Another aspect of the first film that has crept back in is the unique camera shots, although they seem to pop up in this film a little too often. The distinctive shot of the showerhead is back, many shots of and from the house have resemblance to the original. This somewhat spoils the film. It was supposed to come out of its predecessors shadow. Instead, it uses the same techniques as the original. It was a daring move to use the exact same set without putting the same aspects that we saw over twenty years ago (from when this was made). For me this is the only disappointing feature of this film.
Anthony Perkins' acting more than makes up for the slight lack of originality and minor plot holes. One of the scariest things in this film is the fact that Anthony Perkins does not appear to have aged since his stunning role in Psycho twenty-three years before Psycho II was made. He pulls out another dramatic performance, as uneasy as before, yet surprisingly confident of his newfound stability. This mans acting will always be looked on as how to play a truly disturbed person.
This movie was never going to be better than Psycho, in fact I don't think it was made with that intention. The only downfall with this film was the slight lack of originality. It tried to be true to the original but it never tried to be it's own film. Still this is a highly commendable sequel and a considerably good film.