Psycho (1998) is the worst kind of remake. There’s nothing more pointless than a shot-for-shot remake of an untouchable classic. It’s neither clever nor creative. Even though Gus Van Sant is a capable director, I don’t know what made him think remaking Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a good idea. One of his reasons is proving a movie can’t be 100% recreated, but you’re still left with an inferior version in the end. There’s no point in explaining the plot, because it’s the exact same movie practically word-for-word. Granted there are changes, but that only makes it worse.

The setting is now 1998 and apart from a stray walkman or price inflation, there’s no other reason for that change. A lot of the dialogue is still nothing anyone outside 1960 would say. Another problem is the use of color. It’s one thing to shoot in color, but it’s another to use it obnoxiously. Everything is bright and colorful with most dramatic scenes taking place in broad daylight. There’s no atmosphere. However, the biggest problem is the all-star cast. Anne Heche is not Marione Crane. Nothing she says or does feels believable. Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Viggo Mortensen, Robert Forster, nobody feels natural. We know how these lines are supposed to be delivered, so it just feels off when other actors are repeating them.

But the worst casting choice is easily Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. I can’t take him seriously in a role like this. Even worse when he’s dressed like “Mother.” Most of the smaller changes surround him. Specifically having him appear more perverted while spying on Marion or having out of nowhere images flash during his two stabbing scenes. The recreation of the shower scene misses the point of the original completely. The famous theme comes in late, there’s less obscured nudity, and color removes all tension. There’s nothing you can get out of Psycho (1998) that you can’t get 10 times better in the original.

6. Psycho

Marion Crane is stabbed in the shower

Remake of: Psycho (1960)

3 thoughts on “Shot-for-Shot

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