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4.1 out of 5 stars
Psycho II
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
How can you top the original PSYCHO?
You can't.
But you can do it justice, and PSYCHO II accomplishes that. Its most important key to success, coming over 20 years after the first film, is the return of the same performers - Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and the HOUSE. Using the same exact house/motel set lends this sequel incalculable credibility and continuity. Without it, the movie probably would have been "just another sequel."
Perkins is simply outstanding as Norman (gotta love the way he says "cu- u- utlery") and Meg Tilly and Robert Loggia are nicely cast in their roles. The plot has a nice handful of twists throughout, and a whopper of an afterthought ending. Jerry Goldsmith provides a fine score, wisely avoiding the temptation to mimic Herrmann's original.
The DVD presentation is full-frame, but DON'T let that stop you from buying it. The film is open-matte, which means a widescreen version would simply MASK the top and bottom. In other words, this is NOT a pan-and-scan presentation. There is nothing chopped off at the sides. Instead, you're seeing MORE picture here than you would if it were presented in widescreen format.
Picture and sound quality are good, and the lack of extras is not too disappointing, really, and it's a decent price.
To sum up: great acting, good direction from a Hitchcock apprentice, good score, good plot, good picture and sound, and excellent continuity from the original film. If you're a devotee of Hitchcock's film and you've never seen this, I urge you to give it a try. It really does do justice to the original.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This blu ray is very well done. The box says 4.0 but is really 5.1 DTS-HD MA. This is an excellent horror sequel, the returning and new cast is great and the script, cinematography, music, and direction is top notch. The blu ray has extras a really good picture and audio. Very pleased, as I have been with all Shout!(Scream) Factory purchases: Piranha, Halloween II, The Fog, The Howling and now Psycho II.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2001
Format: DVD
The original "Psycho," a classic in the great tradition of Hitckcock's many films, brought so much to the world of movies that it was hard to imagine that any sequel to a movie as stupendous as this would be any good. Sequels, especially those of the horror genre, tend to be very trite and uninvolving, which is why, after watching "Psycho II," I was in a state of shock over how good it actually was. Of course, it's not Hitchcock, and will never live up to the caliber of the first film, but for what it's worth, it gets its formula right and keeps it right.
The movie picks up many years later, after the horrific murders at the Bates Motel, and Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) has just been released back into the world despite harsh protest from Lila Crane (Vera Miles), the sister who stopped at nothing to find her sister, Bates's shower victim. He returns to the motel, a drug-ridden sex house run by a sleazy man, and to his home, the place where his mental problems all began.
And soon they begin resurfacing. He is haunted once again by the voice of his mother, as well as by images of events gone by. At his new job, he is befriended by Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), who, after being kicked out by her boyfriend, moves into Norman's house. From the beginning, she feels very uncomfortable there, even more so when strange, incriminating things occur. Of course, all eyes look to Norman, but we know that he is not responsible. But who is?
It's hard to believe that this movie is as good as it is, though it's not so hard to explain why. The movie gets it right by choosing to place most of the movie in the Bates home, which was rarely seen in the first film. Recalling the way in which that house looked so foreboding from the outside, it's absolutely intriguing to actually see the guts of it, to get to see the inside of the house. Seeing everything inside makes the voices and images that haunt Norman believable and convincing.
Perkins must also be commended for the film's surprising success. He is able to keep the timidity and degree of gentility that his character possessed in the first outing, and that's what makes us able to care more for him in this film.
There's also a very nice suspense and mystery factor to be dealt with, something unusual in horror sequels. The movie wastes no time in setting Norman up for a fall that is not his fault, and up until the point when we know who is actually behind everything that goes on, the movie is very tense and interesting.
And then we have a nicely done climax, in which all is revealed to the viewer, and we realize what has been going on. But just as we can begin to feel some sort of slight sympathy for Norman, the movie goes on, and in the final, anticlimactic sequence involving a woman claiming to be his mother, the movie ends with yet another possibility of a sequel, and things go sour.
But, for what it's worth, "Psycho II" stands on its own as one of the better horror sequels to come along ever. It stays in touch with the nuances of the original, and plays on its old tricks in new ways. The mystery and intrigue can sometimes reach a fever pitch, though the ending is a bit unfitting. All-in-all, a well-crafted thriller.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 19, 2005
Format: DVD
Finally, I can use my Goodtimes DVD of Psycho 2 for a coaster! A belated thanks to Universal for finally giving this superior sequel a decent DVD release.

As for the film itself, it's certainly one of the best sequels ever made. It's 22 years later, and Norman Bates is judged restored to sanity. He takes back his roadside motel from a sleazy manager (a pre-NYPD BLUE Dennis Franz), and takes in a seemingly innocent waitress (Meg Tilly). But even though Norman has put his past behind him, he starts getting notes from "Mother." And someone (Norman?) is dressing up like Mrs. Bates and soon the Bates Motel is back in business, 1960-style.

There are a few surprises--although the identity of the murderer is fairly obvious long before it's revealed. Director Richard Franklin even throws in an admirable Hitchcock cameo! The pacing is deliberate and slow by today's standards, but the performances should hold your attention. Anthony Perkins deserves special mention for recreating his role as the screen's most sympathetic serial killer; his "toasted cheese sandwich" speech is probably the most emotional scene in all four PSYCHO films.

Psycho 2 is a first-rate sequel, one made with obvious care and attention to characters...a far cry from the seemingly endless cycle of slasher films being released around the same time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 23, 2006
Format: DVD
22 years later after the incident at the Bates Motel, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) has been released out of the mental institute for the criminally insane and is back home. Even though he's back, he still feels haunted by mother's voice and has a second job as a cook at a diner, he's gotten strange phone calls and notes from someone playing Mother so he or she can drive him back to his original state of insanity.

terrific sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of horror has good acting and has Perkins reprising his role as everyone's favorite looney with Meg Tilly, Vera Mills (From the original), Robert Loggia and Dennis Franz co-star. Jerry Goldsmith's score is half as good as the original's score, quality direction by Richard Franklin, solid script by Fright Night's Tom Holland and there's plenty of good scares to make one hell of a good sequel to an all-time masterpiece, there's also a nice twist at the end of this movie.

The new blu-ray from Scream Factory offers a great new HD transfer and quality sound plus goodies like electronic press kit which has interviews with cast and crew, audio interviews from 1983, trailers, TV spots, still gallery and audio commentary by writer Tom Holland.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2005
Format: DVD
Finally we can see with this Widescreen version of Psycho II!! WE get to see the genuis of Dean Cundey The Director of Photography.

This Movie as good as the first one! Sure the first is a masterpiece and I really do like it slightly better, But Psycho II is really a 4 star movie! Amazing directing, Amazing Acting, Amazing MUSIC by Jerry Goldsmith.

I dont want to ruin the movie for anyone, so just buy it and I promise you will really enjoy of this movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
As I watched "Psycho II" for the first time in several years, I found myself just as excited and giddy as I was the first time I saw it. The film still looks as cinematically beautiful as it ever has in high-definition. Director Richard Franklin simultaneously pays respect to Alfred Hitchcock and adds a new chapter to the original. If imitation is the best form of flattery, Hitch would be blushing if he were here today watching the "Psycho II" Collector's Edition.

22 years after being institutionalized for several murders (including his mother), Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) returns to his home and the motel he ran. Settling back into normal life is made difficult when the sister (Vera Miles) of one of his victims begins taking drastic measures to have him sent back to the mental institute. The disappearance of some locals raise suspicions that Norman might be up to his old tricks again.

Franklin compels Director of Photography Dean Cundey to both mimic certain shots from the 1960 classic and come up with new ways to visually fray the edges of the audiences' sanity. The angled shots of Norman Bates looking up at the house are some of the most unhinging moments in horror history. Cundey's use of sweeping overhead shots are captivating as well.

The audio and video high-definition transfer makes seeing "Psycho II" on Blu-ray a treat. The picture quality is cleaner and clearer than it ever has been before. The 4.0 audio shines a spotlight on Jerry Goldsmith's fabulous musical score and brings those stabbing sounds to the forefront even more.

Special features for the "Psycho II" Collector's Edition include audio commentary with Screenwriter Tom Holland. There's a 35-minute vintage video featuring interviews with the cast and crew from both "Psycho" and "Psycho II." Audio interviews with Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and Director Richard Franklin can be heard while you're watching the film. A theatrical trailer and TV spot can be found as well.

Fans of "Psycho II" couldn't ask for more from this Collector's Edition Blu-ray. A wonderful feature presentation and priceless bonus material make this a must-have. Scream Factory earns another gold star for delivering this classic follow-up to Alfred Hitchcock's original in hi-def.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2002
Format: DVD
I saw this movie in the theatre when it came out in 1982 and have been a big admirer or it ever since. Norman Bates is released from incarceration in a mental facility, and seems to have all his faculties about him if not a bit stiff and nervous. But lo and behold, the sister of the woman he brutally murdered in the original Psycho is out for revenge. Norman returns to his duties at his hotel to find it's being used as a haven for drugs and prostitution, and on those grounds he fires the manager (Dennis Franz). He takes a job at a local diner where he befriends the despondent Mary. Mary reluctantly agrees to stay with Norman while she works out problems she's having with her boyfriend. As it turns out, Lila Loomis, the sister of Marian Crane, is hellbent on driving Norman Bates crazy again by leaving notes as his dead mother, calling him as his dead mother, and sneaking around the house. Slowly, Norman begins to question his own sanity when people are being reported killed that he has no recollection of. Maybe he did do it after all, he wonders. The beauty of this film is the mystery, that you never truly know what plot twist the film is going to take, in the spirit of Hitchcock. Exhuming graves, dredging the swamp, deception, and murder are some thrilling elements of this film. The atmosphere is wonderful, with some incredible cinematography and a soundtrack that compliments it's dark beauty perfectly. Will Norman Bates be driven back into the insane asylum? Buy this movie and find out if he deserves another chance.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 6, 2004
Format: DVD
Smart, entertaining and creepy sequal to the masterpiece Pyscho. Stars anthony perkins in his returning role as Norman Bates. Very clever plot and really good acting. Norman is coming home after being declared sane nearly 22 years later but marion cranes sister isnt to happy about that so her and her daughter devise a plan/ wont say what it is cause i dont want to give story away but the movie is excellent and more murders happen. The ending is also clever. Meg Tilly is excellent as Lila loomis's daughter/ all the actors in the movie are good but she stands out and norman is excellent as always. Dvd also includes the shower scene from the original psycho. This is probably the best sequal to a horror film ive ever seen. First rate thriller. Highly recomended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2002
Format: DVD
Twenty-two years after the original "Psycho" that took the cinematic world to storm, Anthony Perkins again stars as Norman Bates, the role that made him an international star.
Over two decades have passed since Norman was declared insane after committing horrible murders at his motel in Fairvale. Upon Norman's release from the psychiatric hospital he returns there to try and get on with his life.
The past, however, has a way of creeping up on Norman. Not only in his vivid memories, but also in the figure of Lila Loomis; the sister of a woman killed by Norman all those years ago.
I must say I was both surprised and impressed to learn "Psycho" had a sequel. Surely after Hitchcock's famous (and yet perhaps slightly overrated) original there couldn't be another movie to match up to it?
What makes this movie such a good sequel is that the overall feel of the original is adopted so well. The same chilling house on the hill. The return of both Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles as the two main characters. The clever storyline slowly unfolds and the viewer is kept in the dark on the identity of the killer until the very end of the movie, which is undeniably a master stroke!
I would also like to mention the atmospheric music by Jerry Goldsmith and the excellent and original camerawork, both of which suit the atmosphere of the movie so extraordinarily well.
The original "Psycho" was a worldwide succes. What impresses me the most about this movie is the fact that cast and crew dedicated enormous effort into making this a worthy sequel. And that they have in fact succeeded in doing exactly that.
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