Of all the horror movies that didn’t need a reboot, Psycho is probably top of the list. Granted, there’s a long and sad history of Universal trying to capture Hitchcock’s lightning in a bottle again: There are three sequels and a crappy TV movie also called Bates Motel.
This, however, might work, if for no other reason than Freddie Highmore seems to have nailed the job.
Don’t believe me? Check out this promo (which A&E frustratingly refuses to post in high-def).
Yeah, that’s Charlie Bucket from Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka remake, if you don’t recognize him. This is also a substantially better short promo than the brief bursts advertising it in theaters, which frankly made it look like a cheesy anthology show:
Instead it’s apparently an attempt to take the basic idea of Norman Bates and his mother issues to the modern era (Norman has an iPod in this sizzle reel) while simultaneously trying to be a prequel. So it’s like Smallville, except with Ed Gein. To be fair there’s room there for this concept: The original movie mentions that there were several victims of Norman’s before Janet Leigh came along. It’s also got Carlton Cuse and Tucker Gates, two experienced TV guys that both worked on Lost, behind the wheel.
Norman at a blacklight rave seems a bit ridiculous, but the basic idea seems to be the guy can’t get over his hot mom being hot, and some jerk being his new dad. The main question is what’ll happen if they get past a couple of seasons: Beyond a certain point, Norman Bates has to become, well, Norman Bates. We know how this series is ending. The real question is will getting there be worth the trip?
We’ll find out March 18th.