Psycho - Psycho 2- Psycho 3 - Psycho 4

Psycho II

"It's 22 years later, and Norman Bates is coming home."
Rated: R/18
US Box Office Revenue: $32,000,000

Director – Richard Franklin
Robert Bloch (Characters)
Tom Holland (Screenplay)

Anthony Perkins – Norman Bates
Meg Tilly – Mary
Vera Miles – Lila Loomis
Robert Loggia – Dr. Bill Raymond

8¼ Pies

Reviewed by Limey

Plot Summary

Norman Bates returns to his motel after 22 years in a psychiatric hospital, but not everyone is happy to see him home.


As I was writing my review for the first entry in the Norman Bates saga, it became clear that I was missing out on something. The near four decades between its debut and my first viewing meant that while I could write about its historic importance, it would be impossible for me to truly understand how audiences felt upon its release.

I initially thought that the same would be true with its first sequel, too, but this time it turned out to be the total opposite. You see, living as I do in this age of unnecessary sequels and blasphemous remakes, I know all too well how movie goers would have reacted to the news that a sequel to cinema classic ‘Psycho’ was in production.

And that is why I am so glad that I never even knew it existed until a few moments before I originally watched it. At an age where I thought being a genre fan meant being a self-righteous arsehole, I likely would have refused to watch it had I been given the time to process the information.

Thankfully, my juvenile self was not given that option. Instead, he discovered one of the greatest of all horror sequels and even all these years later I am still pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoy it. If you have yet to give it a chance, then do yourself a favour and rent/buy it. The Bates Motel is worthy of a return visit.


Dr. Raymond: Norman was not convicted of murder. He was found not guilty by reasons of insanity, and since he is no longer insane, he has the right to live a normal life like you and I.

Norman Bates: I don’t kill people anymore.


Originality: ¾ Pie

If not for the fact that it is a sequel, this film would have definitely taken home one whole freshly baked pie. There is no way anyone could have anticipated the story with which we were presented, and to be honest it would have scored highly just for respecting the townspeople enough to write them as more than just an angry mob.


Spook Factor: ¾ Pie

Call me crazy but I was actually more spooked here than when I watched its predecessor, though the reason owes a huge debt to that movie. I have become somewhat numbed to gore and violence in films, but here my prior knowledge of Norman inspired a sense of unease in the most ordinary of scenes.


Antagonist: ¾ Pie

This is a surprisingly difficult category to score. Without spoiling anything, anyone you consider to be an antagonist until the last two minutes is fantastic.


Story: ¾ Pie

I adore the story to this movie, but those last two minutes again rear their ugly head and spoil things. Someone somewhere decided they needed to float the possibility of another film and thus almost ruined the one they were making.


Acting: 1 Pie

Perkins is incredible. Some actors struggle to recapture a character after a few months or a couple of years, but he falls easily back into Bates after two decades, including tiny mannerisms that lesser actors would have overlooked. He again has able support, and I will openly admit that had I been born a few years earlier, I’d have had a crush on Meg Tilly.


Directing: 1 Pie

Franklin proved himself to be a brave man when he agreed to take over where Sir Alfred Hitchcock left off, and also a smart man when he wisely chose to shoot the movie in his own way rather than trying to emulate what had come before. He delivered with an intelligent and creative, yet restrained showing.


Soundtrack: ¾ Pie

The main theme is a hauntingly melancholy track that appears throughout the movie and proves to be a very versatile piece of music. It would have scored top marks if it was slightly more memorable, but during the film itself it more than serves its purpose in supporting and elevating the on screen action.


Special Effects: ¾ Pie

All of the effects work fine, with those that are slightly less than convincing only on screen long enough to either scare or surprise you. There is some impressive stunt work, too.


Gore: ¾ Pie

There was far more gore than I was expecting, with the brutal nature of one death in particular – which we shall call the ‘Face First’ death - taking me completely by surprise. Even the last scene almost manages to redeem itself with a little mindless skull smashing.


Replay, Rewatch, Rewind: 1 Pie

I plan to watch this one again before the week is out, so to my mind there is no other possible score.



Every aspect of the production combines to create a wonderful sense of anticipation in even the most harmless of scenes.


The ending is truly awful. Once you know it is coming, it doesn’t seem that bad, but first time around I thought it completely undermined all that had come before.


Final Word

If you were worried that ‘Psycho 2’ would simply be a rehash of the first film or that it would be the worst kind of cheap slasher designed to cash in on the subgenre inspired by said movie, then you can worry no longer. It is instead, a unique and challenging movie; one that takes the Norman Bates story in a direction none could have predicted and serves as both a good standalone horror picture and a strong companion piece to its famous older brother. It is starting again.

©2012, 2008-2011 Yank-Lime Pie. All rights reserved.