A secretary steals $40,000 from her boss and goes on the run, only
to find herself at an isolated motel run by a maniac and his mother.
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Written by Joseph Stefano
Starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore,
Viggo Mortensen, William H. Macy, Robert Forster, Philip Baker Hall
Remake of 1960's Psycho
Based on the novel by Robert Bloch
1998's Psycho may just be the most pointless movie I've ever seen. It's an identical, shot for shot remake of the original classic, using the exact same script with zero deviations. The whole point of remaking a film is to bring something new to the table, to add in your own personal style to something already well-known. Rob Zombie did with Halloween, David Cronenberg did it with The Fly, John Carpenter did it with The Thing, even Zack Snyder did it with Dawn of the Dead. But Gus Van Sant decided to abandon all creative opportunities and produce the exact same film, minus all the chemistry, innovations, and scares that made Psycho the instant classic that film fans revere today.
We all know the story, only this time it takes place in the 90's, and nobody delivers a decent performance. Anne Heche is Marion Crane, who steals money from her boss and ends up at the Bates Motel, run by Norman Bates (played by Vince Vaughn. Seriously). She's killed and a private eye (William H. Macy) shows up to investigate, yada yada yada, we've all seen Psycho. But what this film does is show that everything that made the original film work came from Alfred Hitchcock. He made films for the future, not for his own time. The things he did with Psycho changed the game forever. And they can't be replicated. Just because you can paint a copy of the Mona Lisa, it doesn't mean you're Leonardo da Vinci.
Psycho '98 is an absolute waste of talent and time. Just stick to the original at all times. This one has zero redeeming qualities, from the horrendously phoned-in performances to the identical camera angles, it's a moronic concept that actually made it to film and, I think, set Gus Van Sant back quite a ways career-wise. The guy had just done Good Will Hunting, and he followed that with this schlock.