Psycho – 4k Restoration ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film, Psycho returns to cinemas. A stunning 4K restoration of the original theatrical cut.
The Bates Motel has opened its doors once again this week across the UK to celebrate Psycho’s new stunning 4K restoration, which include 13 seconds of additional footage cut by censors from the original release: the new snippets don’t actually amount to much (a slightly longer shot of Janet Leigh removing her bra, a prolonged shot of Norman Bates’ hands covered in blood and a few extra knife shots on the murder of the detective) and I’m sure most fans have seen all of them before anyway, but that’s beyond the point.
The chance to re-watch one of cinema’s most iconic masterpieces in this pristine form is just too good to miss.
It seems rather pointless to stand here and review a film which is not only 62 years old, but also had enough books and essays written about it to fill my whole living room.
The stories about its marketing (Hitchcock not allowing anyone to see the film if it had already started) are now legendary, just like the iconic score by Bernard Herrmann, the silhouette image of that house on top of that hill, even that “toilet flush” shot, so controversial for the time… and of course the shower scene!
What I wouldn’t do to see the audience’s reactions back in 1960 when they saw their leading actress killed half-way through the film in such a brutal and unexpected way.
Nobody is arguing about the film’s place in cinema history, nor about its technical brilliance, Hitchcock’s bravura in creating tension, in conjuring up some of the most indelible images of any film and in surprising the audience with some of the bravest and most astonishing twists ever seen before (or since).
And that’s without mentioning the Anthony Perkins, who made Norman Bates one of the most unforgettable characters not just in the Hitchcock filmography, but in movies in general. So much so that Perkins would struggled against typecasting for the rest of his life.
And whilst I have to say, Rear Window still takes the top spot on my Hitchcock list, Psycho is the one which I re-visit over and over and every time I see something new: still as creepy, unsettling, beautiful to watch, perfectly choreographed and as vital as it ever been.
A film that truly deserving of all the hype it’s had over the years (despite its slightly didactic speech at the end, probably the only thing that dates it).
And while I’m here, I’d like to put down a couple of words of praise for its sequels (especially the second one), which are not as awful as one would imagine, the TV series Bates Motel, which got more and more interesting as it went on. I’ll stay silent on the shot-by-shot remake by Gus Van Sant, possibly the most pointless waste of time that ever graced the silver screen.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick
Psycho 4K restoration is out in cinemas.
See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali
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