This is a shot by shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller by the same name. An unaware audience might wonder why it feels so much like a period piece, and others why it was made in the first place. The true reason is mostly copyright-driven but, for all intents and purposes, this can be useful to the film student or simply to the fan who wants a modern color rendition.
As a stand-alone film, it is almost as appreciable as the original, but times have changed and so have morals. The story is only timeless in and around the infamous motel. Some taboos are approached with an upgraded eye and as a wink to those who found 1960’s version subversive. On the surface, this is just another romantic thriller. Psycho only gains depth around the mid-point.
From that moment on, things get tense; as tense as Hitchcock managed to be. 1998’s Psycho is most enjoyable if compared to a play with a story so good it is being retold and extrapolated. 1990’s sequel wasn't great and this comes as a pleasant surprise for the completist. It’s a collection piece as much as a nod to the master of suspense. It's a grand film in the shadow of a grander film.