Thursday, August 6, 2009

Psycho II (1983)

I never had anything against sequels, especially if they're good. Psycho is one of the most famous movies in history and with some really cool twists and turns. It was the starts of the slasher movie and probably was one of the inspirations to the giallo genre. So maybe it was destiny that Psycho II came 22 years later, set 22 years later in "real" and also with a couple of the original actors back in their roles. 

Some people will say that Anthony Perkins chews the scenery a bit to much in almost all his movies, but I couln't disagree any more. He's one of the best actors of his time and was one of the few that could creep out people doing nothing. Here he's at his best. Meg Tilly, who I think is a wonderful actress, makes a big impression as Mary - the girl who starts to live in Normans house. She and Tony Perkins didn't get along during the filming, and that might has been the best childish behaviour from both of them...because I'm sure it made their scenes even better.

I'm a sucker for old character actors and Vera Miles is back as Lila from the first movie and is excellent! For people never seeing the first movie it wouldn't have done anything with another actress, but for me the puzzle is perfect. She's a bitch, but somehow you can understand her. Robert Loggia and Dennis Franz is great in supporting parts to. Hell, even Virginia Gregg is back as the voice of the mother! 

The script is one of the most clever sequel-scripts I've had the pleasure to experience (writer: Tom Holland) and it's a slick production directed by Richard Franklin, which tries to get the Hitchcock-feeling, but never imitate it. Remember, this is the eighties, so suddenly the violence in movie reached new heights. When everything was offscreen in the first movie, here we have some really painful murders. The knife in mouth is a classic, and was used by Lucio Fulci in The House by the Cemetery two years earlier - also in the basement! But the Psycho II-version is the better and more brutal one.

A minor masterpiece and one of my favorite sequels ever. 


mamoulian said...

Can't do anything but agree with you Fred - P2 is one of the better sequels that's been made... Very good post by the way - insightful and witty...

forestofthedead said...

Great review. Such an awesome movie.