Before Bates Motel

Psycho IV: The Beginning is both the beginning and the end of the completely unnecessary Psycho franchise. It’s either the 4th installment or the 5th if you count another made-for-TV movie I didn’t see titled Bates Motel (no, not that Bates Motel). The difference between the two, is that Psycho IV retains both an R rating and Anthony Perkins. This was Perkins final time playing Norman Bates only a few short years before his death.

Psycho IV picks up with Norman once again released from an institution. Possibly for the first time, since there’s no mention of the pointless past altering events of Psycho II and Psycho III. It wouldn’t really make sense for Norman to be released after only 4 years anyway. Norman calls a radio talk show with the unusually specific topic of sons who kill their mothers using the name Ed (as a nod to the killer that inspired him). For whatever reason Norma Bates is played by the British Olivia Hussey. There mother-son relationship is explored in uncomfortable detail made worse by bad dialogue.

There’s another shower scene, but neither of the 2 previously mentioned kills have anything to do with it. An older Henry Thomas plays his first horror character as the younger Norman Bates. He’s good in the role since the original actor was their to help, but the inevitable murder of his mother and her boyfriend is just too overdramatized. Back in the present, Norman is revealed to be married with the intention of killing his wife. Let’s just say the ending is happier than you’d expect. Psycho IV: The Beginning proves some events are better left unseen.

5. Psycho IV The Beginning

Norma dresses Norman up like a girl

Preceded by: Psycho III

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