Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho may be one of the most famous horror movies of all time, but when compared to the new television show Bates Motel, a modern version of the original film, there is no question about which has you on the edge of your seat more.
Psycho, a classic suspense movie released in 1960, tells the tale of the murder of a young woman that takes place in the vacant Bates Motel. When the woman first checks in, Norman the owner instantly gives off a dark and mysterious vibe. Norman Bates lives in the run down and extremely creepy house next to the motel with his mother, and her name never seems to be mentioned. The viewers only get to see glimpses of the mother and son arguing, which later plays in to the plot of the movie. Being a horror film, the movie goes on to take the audience through suspenseful twists and turns that I have decided not to ruin for the readers sake.
Not only is the television show based on the owner of the motel, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), and his mother, but also follows him as a high school student. In Psycho, you don’t even meet Norman Bates, originally played by Anthony Perkins, until well into the movie. Instead of the story revolving around the murders of the motel, the show is based on how the motel was started and how the murders began.
During the television show Norman’s half brother (Max Theriot) shows up and plays a key role in the story, whereas in the original movie a brother was never mentioned. Since there have only been a few episodes of the show, the audience does not know too much about the brother, but there have been many signs of a dangerous or violent past. Even though the brother was not in the original, a person can tell that he may cause some turmoil in the future.
One of the main differences is Norman’s mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga). She plays a main role in the television show, but is rarely seen in the movie. Even in the first couple of episodes, anyone can see that Norma is not the average mother. She is a sinister woman who is pushing Norman into a person that can cause the audience to guess he will be inflicting more bad than good in the near future. Norma impacts a large chunk the story, as she is the true cause of the first of many murders. Not only does she murder the first man herself, but drags her son into the situation by making him help clean up the mess and body. The mother shows herself as the true cause of Norman’s evil future.
Although Psycho is classified as a “horror” film, Bates Motel is ridiculously more horrifying. In the movie, the very old-fashioned murder scene is unrealistic and unbelievable, but even in the pilot episode of the show an intense rape takes place. The show has the opportunities to give the audience more suspense because the story goes deeper and is much longer than the movie. Bates Motel’s more in depth story gives more chances for watchers to be hanging off the edge of their seats. Along with the richer back-story, the updated television show has much more modern graphics which make the murders much more realistic.
Because the modern version has the up to date technology, it makes the audience question how the Bates’ are going to get away with murder. With all the tools we have today to catch killers, how have a 17 year old boy and his mother not been caught for a brutal murder.
Even though Hitchcock’s original Psycho is a classic, Bates Motel has many more qualities that make the audience more entertained and keep them going back each week for more. Bates Motel airs on Mondays at 10pm on A&E and is the newest must-watch television series.