is the 1983 sequel to Alfred Hitchcock
. It stars Anthony Perkins
, Robert Loggia
and Meg Tilly
. The film was directed by Richard Franklin
and written by
. The original
music score was composed by Jerry
It is unrelated to the 1982
novel of the same
by Robert Bloch
, which he
wrote as a sequel to his original novel Psycho
The film did well financially (leading to two further sequels) and
moderately well critically. Several critics noted that the film
worked hard to sustain the suspenseful atmosphere of the original.
Inevitably, it was seen lacking the unique Hitchcock touch, with
the plot weakened by the contrivance of leaving the door open for
Convicted killer Norman Bates
) is released from a mental
institution. Lila Loomis (Vera Miles
the sister of Bates' victim Marion
, vehemently protests with a petition that she has been
circulating with signatures of 743 people, including the relatives
of the seven people Norman killed prior to his incarceration, but
her plea is dismissed.
Norman is taken to his old home, the Bates Motel, with the house
behind it on the hill, by Dr. Bill Raymond (Robert Loggia
), who assures him everything
will be fine. He is introduced to the motel's new manager, Warren
Toomey (Dennis Franz
). The following
day, Norman reports to a prearranged job at a nearby diner, run by
a kindly old lady named Emma Spool (Claudia Bryar
One of his co-workers there is Mary Loomis (Meg Tilly
), a young waitress. Mary claims she has
been thrown out of her boyfriend's place and needs a place to stay.
Norman offers to let her stay at the motel, then extends the offer
to his home when he discovers that Toomey has turned his beloved
establishment into a sleazy adult motel.
Norman's adjustment back into society appears to be going along
well until "Mother" begins to make her presence known. Norman gets
mysterious notes from "Mother" at the house and diner. Phone calls
come from someone claiming to be Norman's mother. Toomey picks a
fight at the diner after Norman fires him. Later, a figure in a
black dress stabs Toomey to death with a kitchen knife as he is
packing to leave the motel.
Norman begins to doubt his sanity when he begins hearing voices in
the house. He enters his mother's bedroom to find it looks exactly
as it did 22 years ago. A sound lures him to the attic, where he is
Believing the house to be abandoned, a teenage couple sneaks in
through the cellar window. They notice a female figure pacing in
the next room. As they try to climb out, the boy is stabbed to
death. The girl escapes and alerts the police.
Mary eventually finds Norman in the attic. The sheriff questions
them about the boy's murder. He finds the cellar neat and orderly.
Norman is about to admit that something suspicious is going on, but
Mary claims that she has cleaned up the basement herself. After the
sheriff leaves, Norman asks Mary why she lied. She explains that
she had to save him from being arrested. Norman collapses into the
chair with his head in his hands and moans, "It's starting
Mary is startled later when she discovers someone looking at her
through a peephole in the bathroom wall. She calls out to Norman,
who is downstairs and out of reach. The two are horrified to find a
bloody cloth that has been stuffed down the toilet. Norman appears
confused and believes he may have committed another murder.
Mary goes down to check the motel. In the parlor she is surprised
by Lila, who reveals herself to be Mary's mother. She has been
calling Norman claiming to be his mother, even going so far as to
dress up as her and allowing him to see her in the window. Mary has
been helping her. She was responsible for restoring Mother's room
at the house and locking Norman in the attic. All of this was an
attempt to drive Norman insane again and have him recommited.
Mary's growing feelings for Norman, however, have been preying on
her conscience leaving her to reconsider her actions. Meanwhile,
Dr. Raymond discovers Mary's identity as Lila's daughter and
informs Norman. He also orders the corpse of Norma Bates (which was
buried in a proper grave after the events of the original film) to
be exhumed, to prove that Norman isn't being haunted by his
Mary admits to Norman that she has been part of Lila's ruse, and
that while she now refuses to continue, Lila won't stop. Mary goes
to Lila's hotel and their argument is overheard by a bartender.
Later, Lila drives over to Norman's house, unaware that Dr. Raymond
is watching her from the Bates Motel as she sneaks into the
While removing her "Mother" costume from a loose stone in the
floor, another figure dressed as "Mother" steps out of the shadows
and murders her. Dr. Raymond runs up to the house. Lila's body is
not in the cellar. Meanwhile, Mary discovers that a car has been
retrieved from the swamp, with Toomey's body in the trunk.
Realizing the police will shortly arrive to arrest Norman, Mary
returns to warn him. The phone rings in the house, Norman answers,
and starts speaking to his "mother." Mary listens in and discovers
that nobody is on the line with Norman. Terrified, Mary runs
downstairs into the cellar, and quickly dresses up as Mother to
confront Norman. Someone grabs her from behind, and she plunges the
butcher knife into ... Dr. Raymond, who has sneaked back into the
A stunned Mary runs downstairs and is confronted by a deranged
Norman, who promises to cover up for "Mother." Mary tries to keep
him away, repeatedly stabbing him in the hands and chest. He backs
Mary into the fruit cellar to hide and slips on a pile of coal,
which avalanches away from the wall, revealing Lila's body hidden
behind it. Mary is now convinced that Norman had been committing
the murders. She raises her knife to stab him and is shot to death
by the incoming police.
The sheriff inaccuratetely believes Mary committed all the murders.
That evening, a woman walks up the steps to the Bates' mansion.
Bandaged from his injuries, Norman has set a place for dinner when
he hears a knock at the door. It is Emma Spool, the kindly woman
from the diner.
Norman gives her a cup of tea. Ms. Spool tells him that she is his
real mother, that Mrs. Bates was her sister, who adopted Norman as
an infant while Ms. Spool was institutionalized. She further
reveals that she was the murderer, having killed anybody who tried
to harm her son. As she sips the tea, Norman kills her with a
sudden blow to the head with a shovel.
Norman is now completely insane again. He carries Ms. Spool's body
upstairs to Mother's room and we hear Mother's voice warn Norman
not to play with "filthy girls." Norman reopens the Bates Motel and
stands in front of the house, waiting for new customers as Mother
watches from the window upstairs.
References to original
- The pseudonym that Meg Tilly uses in
the film (Mary Samuels) is based on the pseudonym that Janet Leigh signs in with at the Bates Motel on
her fateful night in the original film, Marie Samuels.
- Alfred Hitchcock's image makes
an appearance in the first shot of the unused room. Just before the
lights come on, the famous Hitchcock silhouette appears as a shadow
on the armoire. Hitchcock was known for
making cameo appearances in his films, and though he died two years
before production began, was included as a tribute.
Author Robert Bloch published his novel Psycho II
which satirized Hollywood slasher films. Upset by this, Universal
decided to make their own version that differed from Bloch's work.
Originally, the film was intended as a made-for-cable
production. Anthony Perkins
originally turned down the
offer to reprise the role of Norman
, but when the studio became interested in others
(including Christopher Walken
Perkins quickly accepted. The studio also wanted Jamie Lee Curtis
star Janet Leigh
play the role of Mary Loomis.
II was filmed at Universal
Studios in Universal City, California on Stage 24 from June 30,
1982 to August 1982.
The Bates house set
was still standing from 1960, but the motel had to be
reconstructed. The town of Fairvale (seen when Lila Loomis
is tailed by Dr. Raymond) is actually Courthouse Square, which is located on the Universal Studios backlot in California.
When the film opened on June 3, 1983, it earned $8,310,244 in its
opening weekend and went on to gross about $32 million, making it
one of the top hits of the year.
The reflection of young Norman Bates
the doorknob when he flashes back to his mother's poisoning is
, Anthony Perkins' son.
was released on DVD
as part of a triple feature
package with Psycho III
Psycho IV: The
on August 14
- Roger Ebert's review
- A Boy's Best Friend - Psycho 2 -
- Eric's Time Capsule: Psycho II (June 3, 1983) -