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Independent film director Gus Van Sant attempts a first in American film history: a shot-by-shot remake of the classic 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. With a few minor, modern-day changes (including filming it in color), his version is essentially the same film with a different cast and the same Bernard Hermann music. Psycho was and still is the story of Marion Crane (previously played by Janet Leigh and now by Anne Heche), an adulterous woman who steals a stack of money from her boss and hits the road hoping for financial freedom. Pulling over in an old motel for the night, she meets the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Contains nothing to outrage or offend partisans of the original, yet neither does it stand to add much to their appreciation."
‑ Godfrey Cheshire, Variety
"The movie lacks the chutzpah to even be a travesty."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"failed project"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"A futile, soulless shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock's masterpiece."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Psycho doesn't do much for Van Sant, and he doesn't do much for Psycho."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"Hitchcock probably wouldn't tell this story if he was making films today, and he certainly wouldn't tell it this way, with internal 'voices', back projection, minimal nudity and violence."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"So much of Van Sant's 'new' version of the classic remains the same that you sit there shaking your head, mumbling, why, oh, why?"
‑ Peter Brunette,
"What Van Sant's film does, tremendously well, is make the material foreign again."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Already my mother and I mourn the day when some AVID editor will dare to digitally tweak Vertigo, spinning it into a virtual romantic comedy starring computer-directed replicas of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Vaughn's Norman Bates is much inferior because he lacks the natural neurosis of Anthony Perkins."
‑ Chuck O'Leary,
"The movie is an invaluable experiment in the theory of cinema, because it demonstrates that a shot-by-shot remake is pointless; genius apparently resides between or beneath the shots, or in chemistry that cannot be timed or counted."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The cast is fantastic, sure, but they're wasted in a sea of redundancy."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"a true labour of love, an homage in such deliriously infatuated thrall to its inspiration that it seems more arthouse folly than studio cashcow - or, to cite the psychiatrist near the end of Psycho, "these were crimes of passion, not profit.""
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"...the Hitchcock film relied for its effects on originality and creativity. Van Sant's remake substitutes rote repetition and cliches that have long since lost their value."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
"Deserves closer consideration than it received."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Psycho on Rotten Tomatoes

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