by Guto Griffiths
To keep in line with this frightful time of year, why not watch a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling, Psycho?
Psycho is still considered to be one of the best horror films ever. So, a Netflix series which explains the roots of the Bates Motel and its inhabitants is sure to grab any horror fan’s interest. Bates Motel is a modernised prequel to the 60s horror film and can feel a little out of place at points. Especially when watching Norman Bates text his crush. However, this is something you can quickly overcome when you are absorbed in Norman’s evolution from innocent 17-year-old to schizophrenic killer.
Although the series has other plot lines that sometimes feel a little meaningless; it’s the unhealthy relationship between Norman and Norma that keeps us compelled. Both Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga give standout performances; shedding light on how Norma’s oppressive but caring attitude towards her son sets him on the path to becoming the infamous killer, Norman Bates.
Freddie Highmore always had big boots to fill after Anthony Perkins’ portrayal of Bates in the film Psycho, and he does not disappoint. Highmore’s sweet and sympathetic portrayal, has us hoping for Norman to have a different life. But, as the show goes on, his interests darken (taxidermy, anyone?); perfectly foreshadowing the killer he will become.
Although we already know the end from Hitchcock’s Psycho, the show does an amazing job at keeping us hoping for a happy ending.