starring: Anthony Perkins, CCH Pounder and Henry Thomas
I just love it when they end things with a bang! I love that deep satisfaction of a successful run and Psycho pretty much done that on its own as a franchise, with each film as watchable as they are interesting.
Until the remake came in that is, but that's another story...
As Fran tries to talk some sense into Bates, we see his past, chronologically reversed, revolving around his mother's abusive relationship with him as a child and a teenager, his near-incestuous feeling towards her, the time she brought home a boyfriend, and the murders.
I recall watching this as the very first Psycho film I indulged as a child. Unlike the last two sequels that dabbled into slasher territory, Psycho IV was more of a PSYCHOlogical narrative (haha, pun...) that puts us into the mind of Norman Bates with that much detail for the first time. However, there are some inconsistencies that leaves some fans into filling in the holes themselves. We all know that Dr. Bill of Part II was the psychiatrist who handled Norman's case but now we got this other fella claiming to be the Bates expert. My filling for this was that he probably handled Norman before he went through Dr. Bill Raymond sometime after the first film and before its sequel. But then again, this is a minor case, and I hardly see anyone working up on this.
While Anthony Perkins plays his star character again, Henry Thomas fills in the shoes of a teen Bates. Though his portrayal can be a bit dodgy at times, he managed to play the "Mother" role with creepiness as he murders those who arouses him and shows a premature Bate's descent into madness.
Moving far, far away from Hitchcock's most successful film, Psycho IV tries a new approach to the slasherfied sequels, and was a moderate success. It's something entirely different, and considering the themes this movie had to work with (Hitchcokian films are rare to come by nowadays. "Successful" Hitchcockian films...), "Psycho IV" surprisingly results into one moderate success, daring to go further than most (recent) TV movies might. A lot of heart was in this, and I wholly accept it.
1 female knifed to death
1 male seen dead, stung to death by bees
1 female strangled with rope, later drowned in a lake whilst trapped in a car
1 male poisoned
1 female poisoned