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Everyone involved seems somewhat confused over what a sequel to Hitchcock's masterpiece could possibly be; if ever a film definitively ended, it was Psycho. Director Richard Franklin (Road Games) and writer Tom Holland (Class of '84) find a tentative solution in taking Hitchcock's psychiatric metaphors literally: for much of its length, the film is a surprisingly serious plea for the rights of the mentally ill and the legitimacy of the insanity defense. When the need to make a commercial shocker finally asserts itself, the film shifts gears with unseemly, damaging haste. Though far from a worthy successor to the original (but why make impossible demands?) the film clearly could have been much worse; there's even some inadvertent artistic interest in the Proustian conjunction of the original actors (Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles), who have aged, and the meticulously re-created sets, which have not. With Meg Tilly and Robert Loggia (1983).

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