How Bates Motel Changed Psycho’s Iconic Ending

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho is one of the most iconic and chilling films in history. It introduces the charming and unstable Norman Bates, who gives other horror movie villains a run for their money. Norman has always been a fascinating character. He switches from a humble and slightly quirky young man happy to indulge his seemingly domineering and violent mother to a sinister predator entirely consumed by his “Mother” persona. In 2013, Bates Motel premiered on A&E and served as a contemporary prequel to Hitchcock’s thriller. It details young Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) life with his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) and his eventual slide into madness. The series stayed true to Psycho‘s spirit, but Norman’s fate deviated.

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7 Replies to “How Bates Motel Changed Psycho’s Iconic Ending”

  1. I absolutely adored this show. Full disclosure: Even though I’m a Film Criticism graduate I had only watched 2 Alfred Hitchcock movies prior to Bates Motel and Psycho: Vertigo and North by Northwest (I liked the latter more than the former).

    I started Bates Motel on the recommendation of a friend who is a massive fan of Freddie Highmore (as I am now). The beautiful Vera Farmiga I was well aware of and I was surprised at the amount of star power in this show including Rihanna’s cameo which I didn’t expect just like what happens to her character.

    I also really liked the Sheriff who gets framed I believe. The actor also gave one of the best performances in the show.

    Me and my friend proceeded to watch Psycho after Bates Motel’s finale and he was hesitant as he is more used to watching 2000s era films but we both loved it as well as were positively shocked by it.

    The stairs scene was exceptionally scary and of course Bates talking in his mom’s voice, the shower scene, the court scene, I am getting shivers just thinking about this horror gem.

    Bates Motel might not succeed the original but compared to other shows based on superhit films it does justice to the source material, and Hitchcock would’ve been proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You have some great points. Freddy Highmoore is amazing but Vera Farmiga was hands down perfect. Néstor Carbonell also nailed it as the Sheriff. Pretty tragic. Max Thieriot grew on me.

      We also get to see Olivia Cooke in House of the Dragon when it comes out! So excited for that series.


      1. Oh I did not know Olivia Cooke is starring that. The last 3 movies I saw starring her namely Ready Player One, Thoroughbreds and The Sound of Metal not only show popular she become with casting directors but also her acting range.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those are all movies I need to see! I really liked her in Bates Motel and I was thrilled when House of Dragon released promo pics of her character.


      3. Oh let me check them out. Have you covered the topic on this blog which is quite beautiful both design wise and content wise. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hey thank you so much for saying that! I love this blog so much and it’s been fun to grow. There will never be a lack of things to write about in pop culture!

        I haven’t written about House of the Dragon (I haven’t read the book either but my partner has) but I definitely will when the show comes out! I think next year maybe.


      5. Oh I will be on the lookout. Yes I admire the dedication on this blog. Very consistent! I haven’t read any GoT book as fantasy literature is too descriptive for me haha. Loved the show though.


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