One of the most interesting surprise hits on TV is a prequel to one of the greatest thrillers of all time. A&E’s new series Bates Motel tells the story of one of the most iconic fictional killers in history Norman Bates. One of the most interesting aspects of Bates Motel is that it feels very contemporary but the events are actually taking place long before the events that happened in Psycho. Bates Motel tells audiences that happened to Norman Bates to make him into the killer he turned out to be and what his relationship with his mom was really like. It also gives audiences a better look at Norma Bates and her life and personality, which ended up having a huge influence on Norman later on.
Bates Motel tells the stories that audiences have wanted to hear since Psycho was released. The original film was released in 1960 and shocked audiences with what was then considered to be graphic violence and sexual content. The film was a lightning rod for controversy but was also considered to be Alfred Hitchcock’s best film. It has stood the test of time in a genre that is usually not kind to older films and is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Most horror films depend on the latest special effects and computer tricks to scare people with gore and guts. As new technology makes old special effects obsolete films that rely on those effects tend to look dated and not be scary anymore. But Psycho is terrifying even now. Alfred Hitchcock was a master manipulator and knew how to scare audiences without using cheap theatrics. He used the power of the imagination and the fear of the unknown to terrify audiences. Even today people who see Psycho for the first time are shaken by the power of the film.
Throughout the years there have been several other movies made using the characters from Psycho. There have been other TV series as well but none has had the success that Bates Motel has had. The series has been renewed for a second season based on its popularity with critics and audiences during the first 10 episodes. The Bates Motel series is quirky, offbeat, and dark in the same way that cult classic TV show Twin Peaks was. The creators and producers of Bates Motel freely admit their reliance on Twin Peaks as an influence on Bates Motel. Since Twin Peaks is largely regarded to be one of the most brilliant and twisted TV shows ever made a lot of fans have high hopes that Bates Motel will develop in the same way that Twin Peaks did.
Ultimately what is both terrifying and satisfying about Psycho and Bates Motel is that both are stories of human nature. People can recognize themselves in the characters and empathize with the victims. Bates Motel touches the same raw nerve that Psycho touched by implying that even when people look normal and sane they aren’t and no one is ever really safe.