Psycho was released in 1960 and began the slasher genre, in 1978 Halloween was released and that began the slasher era. During the early 1980s, sequels to slasher films were being made left and right, well why not make a sequel to the original slasher film? In 1983, that happened when Psycho II was released. Now, I wasn’t born yet when this movie came out, but I’m sure people were unsure with this one. It’s not too often that classic films from the 1960s or earlier are sequlized, and when they are they usually fail. Well not this one, it seems that people were excited for this, and for one reason alone, Anthony Perkins was coming back after 23 years to play his classic role of Norman Bates. Even Vera Miles returned from the first film to reprise her character of Lila.
Psycho II begins with Norman Bates (Perkins) being released from the mental institution after spending 22 years there. But, Lila Loomis (supposedly because she married the boyfriend of her sister, Sam Loomis) is unhappy with his release, she wants Norman to stay in prison because of the people he killed. But, her protest falls on deaf ears and Norman is released. He returns to his home and motel only to realize that his mother is still there. He gets a job at a diner in town where he meets Mary Loomis (the daughter of Lila, though he doesn’t find this out until later). Throughout the rest of the movie he begins to see and hear his mother again, we soon find out later that it is Lila and Mary causing this, but they push him over the edge and he finally returns to his roots.
Psycho II is actually quite a good sequel. It’s hard to make a sequel to a classic and have it be anywhere near as good as the original. This movie is not as good as the original, nor is it close, but it’s not a bad film either. It’s cool to see Anthony Perkins back playing the character that made him famous and to see what finally happened to Norman Bates after that infamous time in 1960. This film was released 3 years after Alfred Hitchcock’s death, so we will never know what he thought of the film, but it seems that Anthony Perkins was happy enough with it to return to the character another 2 times after this one. The following sequels get worse each one, but still remain entertaining films.