If ever a film could be deemed 'unnecessary,' it is in the case of Universal's PSYCHO remake from 1998. No one is more aware of this, however, than director Gus Van Sant, who laughingly spits in the face of the studio system by literally creating a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's original shooting script. The initial results are quite amazing, and replicated to an impressive degree. Even more so than Hitchkock, Van Sant attempts to show that actors are nothing more than pawns under his control, but in the process, he proves there is much more that goes in to the success of a film than simple framing and editing. Van Sant's experiment in terror inevitably fails, no matter how close he comes to replicated the physical structure of the original. His is a soulless film, played out by an otherwise talented cast who are unable to bring the essence of life to their characters. By working off of Joe Stefano's original script and under the constraints of a duplication process, the delivery of the now dated dialog becomes forced and unnatural. We see actors acting, rather than characters interacting. Or, in Vince Vaugh's case, we see actors failing. Vaugh is a poor substitute for Anthony Perkins, and is simply unbecoming in the role. The novelty of Van Sant's cinematic prank wares off soon after Norman Bates is introduced, and without any new surprises left to look forward to, the remainder of the film becomes disastrously boring. In the end, the PSYCHO remake is nothing more than an intriguing concept and an experiment gone wrong that further solidifies Alfred Hitchcock's position as the Master of Horror.