In this remake of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces, Anne Heche takes over in the role of Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane, a young secretary whose boyfriend, Sam Loomis, has trouble paying off a debt along with his wife’s alimony. One day, a rich client of her boss buys a house with $400,000 in cash. To fix her problems, Marion steals the money and heads out to California to live her dream life with Sam. But she gets lost in a bad storm and stops at the Bates Motel, where the proprietor, Norman Bates, lives a very troubled life with his dominating mother, whom he lives with in their house on the hill next to the motel. A week later, Marion has vanished and no one can find her or the stolen money, not even Sam, her sister, Lila, or a private detective who has been hired to find Marion and the money. But a deadly secret is waiting to be discovered inside the Bates’s house. —IMDb
A director who is capable of crafting both deeply unconventional independent films and mainstream crowd-pleasers, Gus Van Sant has managed to carve an enviable niche for himself in Hollywood. Since debuting in 1985 with Mala Noche, Van Sant has become one of the premiere bards of dysfunction, populating his films with a parade of hustlers, junkies, psychopathic weather girls, homicidal teens, and troubled geniuses.
The son of a traveling salesman, Van Sant was born in Louisville, KY, on July 24, 1952. One constant in the director’s early years was his interest in painting and Super-8 filmmaking. Van Sant’s artistic leanings took him to the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970, where introduction to Avant-Garde cinema quickly inspired him to change his major from painting to cinema. After mobving to LA, Van Sant became fascinated by the existence of the marginalized section of L.A.‘s population, especially in context with the more ordinary prosperous world that surrounded them… read more
Unnecessary, maybe, but by no means bad. It's an interesting experiment with some excellent performances, and I feel that justifies its existence. I don't see how someone could love Hitchcock's film and hate this shot-for-shot remake. Judged on its own merits, I find it to be a fine, critically undervalued film.