Psycho 4 : The Beggining title

Tag Line : You've met Norman. Now meet Mother.

Psycho 4 : The BegginingSomewhat different from the previous sequels, being more of a psychological thriller as opposed to horror pic. This time round the story starts with a radio chat show debate, where the discussion topic of the night being about people who murder their mothers, and guess who rings up to tell them about his story?

Yes it's good old Norman (Anthony Perkins once more). Apparently cured again he has been released back into normal society, and has married a nurse who works at the asylum he used to reside in. But as the story unfolds, it turns out that despite his return to sanity, he is plotting one last murder. Not for his mother, but for himself. Just as it was the first time.

The radio DJ, Fran Ambrose (CCH Pouder), is shocked by this announcement and tries to keep him talking whilst they try and track down his location so they can alert the authorities, and so Norman begins to tell us about the first 3 murders he committed and about how he was driven to kill his own mother.

The stories are told in a series of flashbacks, with Henry Thomas playing the young Norman and Olivia Hussey playing the role of his mother. In them we get to see that despite Norman's previous claims of her being kind and gentle, she was actually abusive, violent and sporting a very mean streak.

Of course, all of this is superfluous to the secondary plot which is why Norman says he has to kill again, which has something to do with the fact that his wife is expecting a new arrival (if you know what I mean), and the ending seems to hinge on whether or not the DJ can find out exactly why and talk him out of it.

The film was actually made for the US TV networks, and was released direct-to-video here in the UK in 1991. It's not quite as good as the other films, but I would like to recommend it as it's still a good movie. Fans of the other Psycho films shouldn't be disappointed.

Overall Marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Psycho 4 was actually the first film to be made at the Florida branch of Universal Studios. A replica of the original house was constructed on the back lot, but was dismantled after filming. The original Psycho house still stands

  • A small but interesting continuity error in this film is the inclusion of a built-in wardrobe in Norman's mother's room. This was not present in the previous films. But in this, the closet is there both during the flashback scenes (When she locks him inside it) and again at the end when he revisits the old house. So where did that come from then?

  • When Norman first calls the radio show, he says his name is "Ed". This was a reference to serial killer Ed Gein, who Norman's character was based on.

  • Henry Thomas who plays the teenage Norman may best be remebered for his role as Elliot in the 1982 Steven Spielberg pic "ET-The Extra Terrestrial".

  • Olivia Hussey who played Norman's mother also starred in TV movie Steven King's "IT".

  • Director Mick Garris did not get on well with Anthony Perkins on set and described him as the most awkward actor he had ever worked with.

  • CCH Pounder who plays the radio DJ has a long running ascosiation with horror and sci-fi pics, having starred in "Sliver", "Lifepod", "Robocop 3" and even the Tales from the Crypt film "Demon Night" to name but a few.

  • This was sadly to be one of Anthony Perkins final films before his death. His last film being the 1992 TV movie "In the Deep Woods".. He sadly died later that year of Pneumonia brought about by the onset of AIDS. Having starred in over 50 films and TV movies, it is undoubtedly his role as Norman Bates in the Psycho movies that he will be best remembered for.

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