Blu-ray Review: Psycho IV: The Beginning

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Psycho IV: The Beginning was directed by Mick Garris and stars Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas, Olivia Hussey, and CCH Pounder.

Before the terror can end, see how it all began…This 1990 fourth and final entry in the Psycho movie franchise serves as sort of a prequel. The movie follows a rehabilitated Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who is listening to a late-night radio show where the topic is men who killed their mothers – or something close to that. Well, Norman being a former expert in this field decides to call in to talk to the host of the show where he recounts his trials as a young boy (Henry Thomas) and his uncomfortable relationship with his widowed schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey). Norman is more than happy to share his memories with the talk show host but the more he does so, the more he starts to change.


The more of these long buried memories Norman shares with the curious radio show host, the more he seems to lose his sanity and slowly falls back into his twisted way of thinking. Norman doesn’t handle these haunting memories of his batshit crazy mother that reveal so many disturbing visions of his past that threaten to rekindle his killing urge. Once the uncomfortable interview is over, Norman is put to the ultimate test when the one person in his life that he now cares for comes face to face with the more dark and disturbing side of Norman Bates. In the end, Norman has to decide of likes who he has now become or if he wants to revisit these killing urges of his that have been buried for years.

Okay, I’ve always been a big fan of the Psycho movies because each one offered up something a little different while still focusing on Norman Bates. This one serves as a prequel where the viewer gets to watch flashbacks as Norman recounts his uncomfortable relationship with his unstable mother that shows why he ended up like he did. Or it at least played a major part in it. All of the acting was good with Anthony Perkins revising his legendary role as the iconic character Norman Bates one final time. Master of Horror Mick Garris helmed the movie and captured all the key elements he needed to make this a really intense and chilling watch. As far as the special effects go, there are some blood and makeup effects but nothing too gory or anything over the top.


The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and  the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some images from the movie. The Blu-ray disc features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Psycho IV: The Beginning was a really good fourth entry into the iconic Psycho franchise that revealed how poor Norman Bates ended up the way he did in the first place. As much as he loved his mother, he can sure thank her for his screwed up instability. Hey, thanks mom! Anyway, Mick Garris and Anthony Perkins are the two horror icons that led the charge here for this entertaining finale to the Psycho movies that’s full of intense moments loaded with thrills, chills and even a fresh coat of paint on that old creepy house. Psycho IV: The Beginning will make its Blu-ray debut in the U.S. on August 23rd and is worth checking out. I want to thank Scream Factory for sending this over for me to review!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The new extras include some audio commentary with director Mick Garris and Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey, and an interview with make-up effects artist Tony Gardner. There’s also some vintage behind-the-scenes footage and a photo gallery imported over from a previous DVD release.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Mick Garris, actors Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey
  • NEW The Making of Mother – an interview with make-up effects artist Tony Gardner (27 minutes)
  • Rare Behind-the-Scenes footage from director Mick Garris
  • Photo Gallery of rare photo from Mick Garris


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