Bates Motel isn’t the prequel to Psycho we all thought it was.
Sure, it’s about a young Norman Bates, but things happen differently in the show’s White Pine Bay, Oregon than they do in the movie’s Fairvale, California. Monday’s episode was expected to end with the death of Marion Crane (guest star Rihanna), because that’s what happens in the Alfred Hitchcock original: She’s stabbed to death while taking a shower in one of the most famous scenes in film history. But she made it out alive; instead, it’s Sam Loomis, who’d been having an affair with Marion, on the receiving end of Norman’s knife.
“Obviously, the setup for the shower scene with Marion is very similar to the movie,” the episode’s director Phil Abraham told Entertainment Weekly, “and since the setting is so familiar, I really didn’t want to make it just an exercise of copying Hitchcock frame for frame… But certain key moments, such as Norman looking through the peephole in the wall, are all part of building up the tension with what the audience knows or thinks is coming. The fun of the shower scene is all about that expectation, and the sequence and choice of shots are very much tied into that sense of what is going to happen, so the pace is critical, and of course mixing in a volley of different shots I felt I could keep the audience off-balance just enough to feel they are watching something familiar yet also in a subtle way be kept off-balance.”
You can see how well Abraham did in the Bates Motel vs. Psycho side-by-side video above. Feel free to add shrieking violins and/or a Roy Orbison song.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)