This made-for-TV movie – the final film in the original Psycho franchise – does provide an epilogue and conclusion to the events of Psycho III (1986) but is more interested in flashing back to the troubled childhood of Norman Bates and how he was raised with his mother.
Still tormented by his past, Norman (Anthony Perkins reprising the role for which he is arguably most famous), relates his past to late-night radio talk show host Fran Ambrose (CCH Pounder) – who is hosting a show about matricide – through a series of flashbacks (with Henry Thomas playing the adolescent Norman), divulging the psychological torture heaped upon him over the years by his schizophrenic and manipulative mother (Olivia Hussey).
Now married with a baby on the way, Norman is concerned that his offspring will carry the same mental illness and murderous tendencies that he has suffered from. He is ultimately forced to confront his ever-present demons during a spectacular and shocking climax.
The film – with a script is by Joseph Stefano, who wrote the original 1960 film – feels overlong despite only having a runtime of 96 minutes.
Dr Leo Richmond
Norman as a child