Psycho 3 (1986)

Anthony Perkins steps behind the camera to direct this third entry into the PSYCHO series. The Bates Motel is back in business, but Norman's first patron bares a striking resemblance to an earlier victim, which forces a flood of emotion as Mother threatens to do away with the young woman. Perkins shows all of the artful enthusiasm of a first-time director, coupled with the same inexperience as well. Both the religious iconography and stylistic attempts are perceived as being heavy-handed in their approach, while the acting and dialog are far more staged than before. The added elements of nudity and gore more closely resemble the teen Slashers of the 1980s than Hitchcock's suspense thriller, which has a cheapening effect on the overall production. Yet there is a deep underlying theme of redemption and forgiveness which cannot be ignored. We continue to see Norman as a sympathetic victim, and externalize his acts as being the work of his controlling 'Mother,' who becomes the real villain once more. Notable moments include a reversal on the shower scene where Norman discovers Maureen with her wrists cut, and a playful gag where the town sheriff nearly discovers a body Norman has hidden in the new ice maker. PSYCHO 3 does not stack up to the other films in the series, but it is a worthwhile entry nonetheless.

Rating: 7/10.


  1. Definitely an interesting movie, but yeah, not like either of the previous films, at all really.

  2. I'll say the same thing about this film that people have said about 'Psycho II'- one film too many.

    There's nothing new here. For all the bits of Norman being 'sympathetic,' it's only in relation to an external villain. He's not a good guy!

    If this film was played up for more dark comedy than it was- Ice Cooler Scene aside- I could recommend it. It's just not a good movie.

    7/10? Really?

  3. If we are to believe that Norman completely fragmented his mind into two distinct personalities, then Mother is the true villain, and we are allowed to side with Norman for the fact that he is killing against his own will. As for the film itself, it is constructed well enough to warrant a C (C-?), isn't it?

  4. To your first question, I still say 'no.' It's still him.

    As far as the rating, I just bring back my earlier issues with using a numerical grading system (for everyone, not just you). To me, 7/10 is not a C. It works if you're adjusting the 1-10 system into 10-100 & further having to explain which grading system you're using. Is 70 a D? Is 70 a C-?

    In conclusion, I'd give a high D or low C-.