Psycho (1998) – WTF Happened to This Horror Movie?

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho is one of the greatest movies ever made. But when director Gus Van Sant took the same script (with some minor tweaks) and tried to replicate Hitchcock’s film shot-for-shot (with some of his own stylistic flourishes here and there) for the 1998 version of Psycho (watch it HERE), the result was not one of the greatest movies ever made. This strange experiment showed that two directors can make almost the exact same movie, and yet one can still fall far short of the other one. In the new episode of our WTF Happened to This Horror Movie? video series, we’re going to try to find out why Psycho 1998 doesn’t work as well as its predecessor.

Scripted by Joseph Stefano decades earlier, Psycho 1998 has the following synopsis:

Hoping for a fresh start with her broke boyfriend, Marion steals a huge sum from her boss and skips town, eventually stopping at a remote motel. There, she’s served by the intensely awkward yet docile Norman Bates, whom she often hears arguing with his domineering mother. But later that night, Marion is brutally slain, and Norman finds and hides the body. When a detective and Marion’s sister visit the motel to investigate, they uncover shocking truths.

The film stars Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen, and William H. Macy.

This is what the WTF Happened to This Horror Movie series is all about:

Hollywood has had its fair share of historically troubled productions. Whether it was casting changes, actor deaths, fired directors, in-production rewrites, constant delays, budget cuts or studio edits, these films had every intention to be a blockbuster, but were beset with unforeseen disasters. Sometimes huge hits, sometimes box office bombs. Either way, we have to ask: WTF Happened To This Horror Movie?

The Psycho 1998 episode of WTF Happened to This Horror Movie was Written by Emilie Black, Edited by Jaime Vasquez, Narrated by Jason Hewlett, Produced by Lance Vlcek and John Fallon, and Executive Produced by Berge Garabedian.

Some of the previous episodes of the show can be seen below. To see more, head over to our JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channel – and subscribe while you’re there!

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.