Bates Motel (2013) and Psycho (1960)

A boy’s best friend is his mother

When I found out about Bates Motel, I didn’t straight away watch the series even though it starts my favorite young actor, Freddie Highmore. The reason was quite simple, I was still thinking whether to rewatch Psycho first or watch the series first. I* saw Psycho ages ago and I remember that I quite like it. I wonder will Freddie able to be a good young Norman Bates.

Then, I found out that Bates Motel was not set in the same time as Psycho, it was a mix of Reboot and Prequel. Knowing that I finally came to a decision to watch Bates Motel first and then rewatch Psycho.

Bates Motel (2013)

batesMotelAs I have said in my first impression of the series, I liked it since episode one. The series began with the death of Norman Bates’s father. Norma Bates decided to have a new life far away from their previous home. They went to White Pine Bay, Oregon and bought an old motel. The previous owner of the motel was not happy and threatens Norma and Norman. One night he came to the house, he attacked and raped Norma. Norman came and knocked him down. Something the man said made Norma lost control and started stabbing him over and over again. The two hid the body in their motel and when the blood stained the carpet, they took off all the carpets to avoid suspicion. Norman found a book with Manga image of naked girls being tied. He became obsessed with that book. The story evolved from then on. The town they lived in was not as nice as it seemed. It had so many dark secrets.

I can’t tell the entire story because not knowing much is the best part of watching Bates Motel. What I can tell is that Bates Motel is a very good thriller series. The characters are well built (unlike the adaptation of Under The Dome) and the chemistry between one character to another is very strong. proxyI especially like the way Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore interact as Norma and Norman Bates. The chemistry between these two actors is amazing. They make us believe that both of them depend on each other more than anything. They didn’t overdo it and make it into an unnatural love between mother and son but at the same time we can see that they love each other more than normal mother and son.

Both Farmiga and Highmore are great but I have to give more praise to Farmiga…she is amazing!! Everything she does is perfect. She can easily change from caring mother to scary mother. She can be so sweet and then in just one second becomes a control freak. We can see that she is a bit unstable for a mother. The way she changes her emotion so suddenly is what make Norma Bates an interesting character…and Vera Farmiga does it splendidly. It didn’t surprise me when I find out that she is nominated for best actress on Emmy Award.

How about Freddie? Freddie is also great. At first, I have my doubt because his face is too darn cute and boyish. It’s hard to imagine such a face turns psycho. But doubting Freddie turns out to be a useless thing. He nails it. He can have that blank face and evil eyes when the time comes. It’s nice seeing him change from the cute boy to a troubled boy. I like the fact that he doesn’t turn Norman into a complete nutcase, in a way we can see that something’s wrong with him but we can’t hate him because he is a good boy. And Freddie is really great at accent. It’s funny how I often come across comments on youtube questioning why does he speak in British accent…so many people think that he is an American.

Like I said before, the other actors/actresses are also great. There’s not a single cast that plays the role badly. I especially like Mike Vogel as Shelby, his character is sweet on the surface but evil inside. He does a pretty good job as Shelby (a lot better than being Barbie in Under the Dome). I also like Max Thieriot as  Dylan Massett, Norma’s first son (Norman’s half brother). He hates Norma but even so he still helps her. I like how he changes his attitude toward both Norma and Norman as the series goes.

I highly recommend this series to everyone who likes Psycho! I am not saying it’s better than Psycho but it’s still a nice alternative world of young Norman Bates. His mother and the small town help shaping who he will become later.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho_(1960)I don’t think I need to explain much about Psycho as it is one of the most famous movies ever made. Everyone who loves thriller must have seen the movie. I dare say that Psycho has one of the best twists in thriller movie history. Even though I have known what the twist is, I still find the movie very interesting.

As we all know, Norman Bates owned a motel in Fairvale, California (they changed the location in Bates Motel). His motel was on the other side of the highway and that made his motel rarely visited by anyone. Marion, a very attractive woman, came to the motel and rented cabin one. She was murdered by Norman’s mother (the famous shower scene). Norman did what every son would do, he covered the murder to protect his mother. But the murder didn’t stop there.

I remember when I first watched it, I was so amazed with how it ended. I can’t remember when the first time I saw it but I know that the twist in Psycho helped shaping my admiration toward movies with unpredictable ending. Psycho is an amazing movie! I have seen the remake and it didn’t even scratch the surface of the brilliantness of the original Psycho (I am glad Bates Motel is as interesting as Psycho). The only thing that makes the movie less perfect is how clear the shouting from the house to the motel was…the house was quite far. Apart from that, Psycho is perfect.

Simply said, Psycho is still one of the best thriller I have ever seen. A masterpiece.

I am glad I decided to rewatch Psycho after Bates Motel because it makes me able to see the two as one. I saw how similar Anthony Perkins with Freddie Highmore, they have same quirkiness. They both look like an innocent person.

Norman Bates

Series and Movie Detail:

Bates Motel

Developers: Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Anthony Cipriano
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nicola Peltz, Olivia Cooke, Mike Vogel, Nestor Carbonell.
Episode: 10
Rating: 4 stars


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Scriptwriter: Joseph Stefano
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire
Rating: 4,5 stars

Both are based on Psycho by Robert Bloch


  1. Neat to see that you have found another good series to watch… this will certainly keep you busy till November when “Doctor Who” starts up again… 😉

    Have you read the original 1959 novel “Psycho” by Robert Bloch that Hitchcock based the original movie on? Maybe your new Library has it and then you could review it too to compare them all. That could be so darn cool.

    1. Oh…I have so many series to keep me busy 😉 2 Japanese Dorama and one anime and a bunch of British series…and I can always rewatch Mighty Boosh and Sherlock 😉

      No I haven’t. I would love too. Hahaha my library is a SCHOOL library, such a book won’t be there 😉

  2. This has been a brilliant posting Miss. Novia
    and I have always enjoyed watching the Psycho
    films, though the first with Anthony Perkins has
    to be my favourite 🙂 Thank you for adding this
    one my great friend and do enjoy a lovely rest
    of week 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    1. Thank you for reading, Andro 🙂
      I have only watched the remake once and didn’t enjoy it as much as the old one. I never like remake might be one of the reasons.

      1. I know what you mean, the remakes are never even close to the original, it is the same with biblical epic movies that were made in the 1950’s.

        Whenever a remake is offered it more often than not falls short of the old version, and actors like Richard Burton, Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas are far more superior in my way of thinking. Maybe I just like those older classics 🙂 lol I hope you have enjoyed your day and are having a lovely week 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        1. Well…I like nowadays actors more than the classic 😉
          I didn’t live in that era and you know I love Cillian Murphy more than ANY actors (past and present) 🙂

  3. Great post, Novia, I agree with Gray.
    You know this could have been a RIP review. I would really love to watch that series you make it sounds great. I like what you write about the chemistry between the actors. That makes such a difference. the bets story sometimes juts doesn’t work because the cast isn’t good.
    Psycho is an iconic movie. I’d have to rewatch it. I actually even liked the remake becaiuse they used very strong, garish colours. I’ve seen Freddie Highmore in another of my favourite Biopics, bts -Finding Neverland.

    1. Hahaha…too bad I posted it this month not next month 😉 I still have thriller movies for my R.I.P

      I barely remember the remake. I only remember how same it was and no point of remaking an already great movie….then again I never like remake.

      I saw Finding Neverland this month (haven’t got the time to review it) that movie is what made Depp amazed with little Freddie

  4. The original Psycho is a very good move, but I tend to like old movies. Never heard of the new series.

    Have you seen any other Alfred Hitchcock films? He made quite a few classics. The 39 Steps, North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo, and many others.

    1. Ah…you should have known about the series. It was filmed in Canada 😉
      The view was stunning. I love the scenery when Norman went to the forrest.

      I have seen The Birds. Haven’t seen all that you’ve mentioned.

      1. I didn’t know it was filmed in Canada.I checked, it was filmed out in BC, so that’s 3,000 miles away! A lot of things are filmed right around here, though. Some big movies like the Hulk, and a lot of smaller movies and TV shows.

        1. I know 🙂
          I think it’s because Canada still has beautiful landscape and scenery, and it is always a treat to see beautiful green scenery.

  5. I never thought that Freddie Highmore resembles Anthony Perkins but he kinda does in the pics you have here Nov. I really like Vera Farmiga but this show doesn’t interest me, to be honest.

    Btw, you’ve seen The World’s End right? Well sadly I’m disappointed by it, it’s not as funny as the other two from Cornetto Trilogy. I’ve got my review up if you’re interested 🙂

    1. Hahaha…I know your interest 🙂 But this is actually really good. More like a thriller drama than real thriller.

      No, I haven’t seen World’s End because Indonesia, as always, doesn’t care about British movies. I have to wait for the DVD. Sorry I will not read your review because I don’t want to be spoiled…this is one of those movies where I refuse to read ANY review till I watch it.

        1. I know what you mean 🙂
          I am just saying I won’t read any blog/profesional review on that movie. I hope I won’t feel the same as you and still think it’s funny 😉

    1. Although there are some killings in the series but it is more about what made Norman who he will become than how to kill people. It’s more like family drama.

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