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      Psycho IV: The Beginning

      TV-14 1990 1 hr. 37 min. Mystery & Thriller Horror List
      20% 5 Reviews Tomatometer 32% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score Released from a mental institution once again, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calls in to tell his life story to a radio host (CCH Pounder). Norman recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey), and the jealous rage that inspired her murder. In the present, Norman lives with his pregnant wife, Connie (Donna Mitchell), fearing that his child will inherit his split personality disorder, and "Mother" will return to kill again. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (227) audience reviews
      DanTheMan 2 I'll admit that I wasn't fully on board for this film after learning it was made for TV, but I couldn't help my interest in Universal's decision to bring back Joseph Stefano, writer of the original Psycho's screenplay, to write this one. He had famously hated the prior sequels so unfortunately, all the interesting plot threads that Psycho II and III had developed are abandoned in favour of further exploring Norman's past, relationship with his mother and what ultimately drove him to kill her. There are just way too many moments Stefano has lifted verbatim from his original work and lines are subsequently reused without the impact they once had, playing on your memory of the original. Hell, it's the only sequel to use large chunks of Bernard Herrmann's iconic score outside of the pre-credits recap of Psycho II, but occasionally tweaks it jamming way too many percussion instruments into something that was so famously strings only. There's some surprisingly decent direction from frequent Stephen King adaptor and collaborator Mick Garris, but nothing outstanding and is pretty much on par with what Perkins offered up with III perhaps less so. Although I will say that the build-up and subsequent reveal of Norman Bates are pretty good with Perkins delivering another good performance even if he spends the majority of the movie on the phone. Henry Thomas (Elliot from ET!) as Young Norman Bates does a particularly stand-up job in capturing the role just as Perkins had done 30 years prior, but he gets lobbied with uninteresting lines and repeats that don't hold up well. Olivia Hussey as Norma doesn't really fit the bill sadly, she's way too attractive to what most of us had probably envisioned Norma looked like. While I've probably sounded overly negative on this review, I will say that despite my issues, Psycho IV is still a decently made TV film with enough from Perkins to keep it from falling into an utter travesty. But the film is way too obnoxious at points in its reference to the original and really suffers from its writing. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 04/17/23 Full Review Audience Member The movie is slow, most of the actors are horrible and the script was pulled out of a toilet, and if I want to see a podcast I go to YouTube. Watch Bates Motel tells the same story and manages to explore it much better than this boring movie. (3.5/10) Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member A pointless attempt to demystify the Bates mythos into nothingness. An unnecessary psychological profile severely lacking cinema, collecting contrived circumstances to justify Norman Bates' existence. It's never as interesting as what should've been left to the imagination. Original screenwriter Josef Stefano culminates the saga with what may be a protest to Universal's decision to make this: burning everything to the ground. Yes, I believe this film is in-house arson to pave the way for future reboots. To absolutely ensure this film betrays the franchise, it ends on a schmaltzy, sentimental note, minutes after Bates tried to kill his wife. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member as good as the first one Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/21/20 Full Review steve d Don't bring much new to the series but it is a satisfying end. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member While they other sequels weren't filled with to much care or story, this film is completely different. Psycho IV the begging is actually a worthy sequel to Psycho the original. It has the same music from the original and it gives a worthy back story to Norman Bates. Grade: B+ Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (5) Critics Reviews
      Anton Bitel Little White Lies Even as it goes back to Norman’s traumatic adolescence, this is also a putative ending, as Norman seeks to ensure that the ‘bad seed’ he has inherited is never passed on. It is a gothic melodrama of twisted redemption, and (perhaps) also a new beginning. Feb 19, 2024 Full Review Nick Rogers Midwest Film Journal The contemporary conflict of nature versus nurture is rushed. It’s like trying to shoehorn several seasons of "Dexter" into a single film. Ultimately, it’s just some dedicated window-dressing and a milquetoast conclusion to the saga. Rated: 2/5 Oct 13, 2023 Full Review Tim Brayton Alternate Ending This should be complete garbage; instead, it is not a very good movie. But it's still sort of interesting and mostly worth watching. Rated: 2.5/5 Sep 22, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Creative Loafing A feeble addition to the Norman Bates canon. Rated: 2/4 Sep 17, 2016 Full Review Andreas Samuelson Slasherpool People expecting some paranoia horror or gory murders will be hugely disappointed. Rated: 2/5 Jan 26, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Released from a mental institution once again, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calls in to tell his life story to a radio host (CCH Pounder). Norman recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey), and the jealous rage that inspired her murder. In the present, Norman lives with his pregnant wife, Connie (Donna Mitchell), fearing that his child will inherit his split personality disorder, and "Mother" will return to kill again.
      Director
      Mick Garris
      Production Co
      Universal Television
      Rating
      TV-14 (V|S|D), R
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller, Horror
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 15, 2019