Coming 23 years after the seminal slasher original. This sequel continues the story of the psychotic killer, Norman Bates who has been declared sane after spending 22 years in an institution.
Bates, played again by Anthony Perkins is released, much to the anger of Lila Loomis (Vera Miles) who is the sister of Marion Crane. She protests that Bates will kill again but is dismissed by the courts.
Bates heads back to his old home behind the old Motel but is shocked to discover the hotel has been turned into a sleazy and drug-fuelled place. He immediately fires the motel manager, Toomey (Dennis Franz) and reports to a prearranged job at a nearby diner.
Bates is making a real go of moving on with his life. When he meets a young waitress at the diner, Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly) who needs a place to stay, he makes the offer for her to stay with him. She is initially wary but agrees eventually and the pair strike up a friendship.
Unfortunately, Bate’s adjustment back into society starts to take a hit when he begins to get mysterious notes and phone calls from ‘Mother’. Mary tries to make him see that it’s just someone messing with him but when a figure in black is seen about the house and Toomey ends up dead, everything begins to point towards Bates’ returning to his old ways.
Did we need this sequel? Absolutely not but after watching it, you’ll be glad they made it. Psycho II is a solid film that sustains the atmospheric edge that made the original so good while also proving to be an entertaining slasher. Once again, Perkins excels in the role but also gets to stretch his acting muscles here. His same child-like innocence is off-set by an under-lying darkness of what occurred in his past and the desperation to hold onto his sanity makes him very likeable.
He’s not the only one who does well. Meg Tilly is also great, someone who we as the viewer perceive as just another victim. She is far from that as the plot develops and while it can get a bit convoluted it’s still a satisfying story. Smart and imaginative with a few killer twists and turns, Psycho II is a very good sequel and a very good slasher horror.
Everyone wants Bates to be the madman he once was and no matter how hard he tries to turn away, it all seems inevitable. After all, only Mother truly loves him.