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Classic Horror Trailers: PSYCHO II

I have a massive amount of love and respect for PSYCHO II. To take what is considered by many to be not only one of the greatest horror films of all time, but one of the greatest films of all time PERIOD, and make a sequel to it…that takes some courage. Not only did writer Tom Holland (FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD’S PLAY) and director Richard Franklin (ROADGAMES) rise to the challenge, they created a sequel that is held with intense reverence by fans all across the board.

Picking up 22 years after the events of the first PSYCHO, PSYCHO II brings Norman Bates home, where he is thrown into a web of confusion (most of which is at the hands of Lila Loomis, sister of Marion Crane, Janet Leigh’s unfortunate character from the original film), unsure if he’s losing his mind or if ‘mother’ is back at it.

What I really love about the teaser to PSYCHO II, is how little of the actual film is shown. Instead of giving a montage of clips from the film, the Bates Motel sign is shown (in glorious black & white), and Percy Rodriguez (who also narrated the amazing JAWS trailer) reminds viewers that “In 1960, motion picture history was made..” before we’re then shown the infamous shower scene from the first film.

When Marion Crane meets her end, the trailer cuts back to the Bates Motel sign, and Rodriguez tells us that “It’s 22 years later…“, as the black & white sign turns into full blue and red neon. “…And Norman Bates is coming home” is spoken over the trailer, as Norman walks into frame, facing the house, with his hands in his pockets. Just the silhouette of Norman is instantly recognizable, and it’s the moment in the trailer in which, as a fan of the original, it makes me anxious and excited every single time I see it. It takes a great “less is more” approach, reeling viewers in without showing too much (or much at all), and making you genuinely WANT to watch PSYCHO II. While today’s teasers/trailers can’t seem to show enough, the teaser trailer for PSYCHO II gives viewers exactly what the original film did, the feeling of suspense.