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This sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's classic is surprisingly good. After 22 years in an asylum, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins, reprising his most famous role) is released and allowed to return home over the objections of Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of one of his victims in PSYCHO.
Although Norman is somewhat apprehensive about returning to the old house and motel where he committed his murders, he seems to be completely recovered. He is given work at a local diner, where he meets Mary (Meg Tilly), a cute but spacy waitress who seems completely ignorant of the earlier
horrors. As Norman gets close to Mary, strange things begin to occur. He finds notes signed by Mother, receives phone calls from Mother, even sees Mother standing in her bedroom window. Then the bodies begin to pile up. PSYCHO II could have resorted to the cheap slasher techniques of the day, but
instead it concentrates on developing the character of Norman Bates--a sympathetic soul who is fighting to overcome his past and live as a normal person. In PSYCHO II, Norman is a victim of crazed people who insist on persecuting him and, as a result, seems incredibly sane by comparison.
Unfortunately the end to PSYCHO II contradicts this development, turning Norman into a leering loon in preparation for another sequel.