Bonnie Dee

Share of the week: Bates Motel

I’m a big fan of the horror genre, though I’m so jaded now that it’s hard for a movie to creep me out or startle a jump from me any more. I’m fascinated by the psychological twistedness of killers, like a car accident I can’t look away from. I’m sure this fascination with serial killers is tied up with the idea of mortality, the inexorable approach of death for all of us, and other psychological stuff I don’t care to try to untangle. Long story short, of course I had to watch the Psycho based series Bates Motel, now in its third season.

After some missteps IMO in the second season, it continues to get better and more involving. Vera Farmiga as Norma and Freddie Highmore as Norman are stellar. The little homages to the original movie are fun; certain lines or images will pop up randomly, reminding the viewer of how this is all going to end. The present day setting has a retro vibe inside the Bates house, mostly due to Norma’s wardrobe and the furnishings, which seems disorienting during the first few episodes (are we in present day or the sixties?) but actually works perfectly.

You might think, why watch a prequel to something we all know the end to. Answer. Because it’s a wild, fun ride these characters take you on, and because the world the writers have created is just so cool. I highly recommend it.

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