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Psycho (No The Other One). Gus van Sant. 1998.

I’m guessing this is the most controversial movie ever made? A couple of days ago a character in some TV show was describing his girlfriend as “she preferred the new version of Psycho”, and that summed up her character as the lowest of the low.

So I’m all excited to watch this movie again: I betcha it’s better than the Hitchcock movie.

[twenty five minutes pass]

I’m really digging that Van Sant is making a facsimile of the original movie? At least I think he is? Only in a different aspect ration, with different actors and in colour. It’s asking the question: If we made the that old classic today, in the same way, would it be as good?

It’s a dare, and I vaguely remember movie critics at the time being really het up about it. They don’t like being challenged.

Because, of course, the answer is “no”. But it’s still really entertaining to watch.

I have to admit being really, really shocked when Norman Bates came running down the stairs to open Janet Leigh’s car door, I mean Anne Heche, and… IT”S NOT ANTHONY PERKINS.

That was jarring.

Vince Vaughn?!

[the end]

Watching this, I’ve been reminded, somehow, that I’ve seen this before… probably in the 90s? On rental DVD? And I vaguely remember liking this then.

This time over, I… I like the idea, because it’s just such a dare. But the movie itself lacks nerve. Vince Vaughn just isn’t scary like Perkins is, and that deflates everything. And whatsisname that plays the detective just doesn’t quite work. The rest of the actors are fine, I think, but it’s still a lot to ask.

So after… three quarters of an hour? I just grew bored with the entire thing.

I’m watching the documentary now, which is amazingly critical towards the movie. I assumed that the studio wanted Van Sant to make a traditional remake of Psycho, and then he fucked with them by making this instead. But no — this was a project he’d suggested to them for years, and they always said no. Until he’d made Good Will Hunting, and then finally allowed him to make the Psycho remake.

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