Psycho

Film

Horror films

 

Time Out says

As original, and as personal, as a Warhol screen print, Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock's seminal shocker takes an established text and recontextualises it 38 years on. The choice of Psycho is a shrewd one; the original hasn't a shot out of place. It stands as the first truly modern American film: Hollywood movies lost their innocence here, in the ruthless brutality of Marion Crane's murder. Van Sant allows himself only about half-a-dozen fractional variations from Hitchcock's storyboard - most blatantly during the murders - though in some respects the mise-en-scène is quite distinct, and in colour (out goes the black lingerie, in comes orange nail varnish). Fascinating to watch Heche and Moore riff on Marion and Lila Crane, though Vaughn has an impossible job supplanting Anthony Perkins' indelible performance. Appropriately, given the schizophrenia theme, you end up watching it in mental split-screen, and of course the b/w version in your head is far superior to the intermittently effective academic exercise playing before your eyes. Hitchcock probably wouldn't tell this story if he was making films today, and he certainly wouldn't tell it this way, with internal 'voices', back projection, minimal nudity and violence.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

104 mins

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