Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Psycho 4: The Beginning

As promised, here is the sad, uncomfortable finale to the Psycho legacy. It really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that this one was so much worse than the first three, when it holds the ignominious position of being the only one in the series that was released straight to TV, much like the straight to TV sequel to the Birds that was such a hit.

What’s wrong with this film? Well, I guess I should start with the main premise of it all. You remember in the original film, after Norman was caught? And the film ground to a screeching halt as they over-explained everything for ten minutes? Yeah. Now try to imagine that stretched out for about three quarters of a film, as they try to delve into Norman’s childhood, and over-explain things that really didn’t need to be explained in the first place. Then, just to force an attempt at a thriller-ish conclusion, they tack on some contrived bit where he’s thinking of killing his wife for getting pregnant.

Anthony Perkins is no help in this film, either. He completely phones in his performance, seeming to be fully aware that he was a terrible film, and the other actors (including the Shield’s C.C.H. Pounder) follow his lead, doing everything completely by the numbers. The directing is similarly flat and lifeless, telling this tale as dully and routinely as one could make it. I almost wish it had been outright bad, just to make it somewhat interesting, instead of the crushing tediousness that I got stuck with instead. If you get the three pack (and despite this one, I do still recommend it), stop after Psycho 3.

No comments: