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Cinematic Psycho Sequels
By James Whittington, Saturday 7th April 2018

Everyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's monochrome masterpiece Psycho will know that how it created one of the most enduring horror icons of the 20th century, Norman Bates. Played to chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch which was first published in 1959 the movie was a benchmark in the horror/thriller genre and Hitchcock sent the rest of his career trying to match it.

Bates was a reflection, an amalgam of several real-life killers, most notably Ed Gein, whose ability to be in plain sight of his hometown whilst committing hideous crimes is almost as hideous as the crimes he committed. Much has been written about the movie Psycho, but what about the cinematic sequels? Often over-looked and even by some totally ignored, Psycho II and III have a lot to offer and gave Perkins the chance to flesh out his most character.

Psycho II was released in 1983, right at the tail-end of the first big slasher-mania run but could the granddaddy of the knife kill compete? Coming just a year after Robert Bloch's book of the same name but having no resemblance at all this was a brave idea, to bring back the world's most famous Mommy's Boy!

Director Richard Franklin, who apparently was inspired to become a director after seeing, amongst other things the original Psycho, only had four features under his belt but delivers the essence of the original whilst at the same time upping the violence and blood, bringing Tom Holland's script vividly to life. As a side note, look out for Tom in a cameo role as Deputy Norris. It was a box-office hit and though it took some purists time to adjust to seeing Bates in colour its rightly regarded as one of the best horror movie sequels made.

Psycho III arrived in 1986 and this time Perkins decided to sit in the director's chair. Brave you might say, seeing as though it was his directorial debut you could consider it crazy, but Perkins delivers a solid and emotional movie that gave fans a darker insight into Bates' situation, of his off-kilter mind-set and the duplicity in his tangled mind. Again, the film has nothing to do with Bloch's third Psycho novel, Psycho House which was published in 1990.

Set only a month after Psycho II, Norman finds himself falling in love and its this bizarre twist that split the audience at the time. Here we view Norman's softer side which at first seems at odds at to what has gone before but as we all know his evil will always conquer. Perkins would only direct one other feature which is a real shame as he shows signs of a very confident director.

Though there was a movie, Bates Motel in 1987 which didn't feature Perkins, a TV Movie followed and was very good too and we will look at that in a different feature as it wasn't given a cinematic release. There was also a scene for scene remake in 1998 but the least said about that the better. Another TV outing for Norman was Bates Motel, a series that ran for 5 seasons and dived directly into the relationship between a young Bates and his mother.

But apart from these it's the cinema releases with Perkins as the star that made the Psycho series such a success. Check out II, III and Psycho IV: The Beginning on Horror and tell us what you think.


Related show tags: PSYCHO II, PSYCHO III, PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING
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Happy 30th Birthday Chucky!
Posted on Friday 9th November 2018
Childs Play

When you were a child, did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were asleep? Or, did you even think they could come alive and gut you like a fish? This second idea is the premise behind Child's Play, one of the most successful slasher series of all time.

OK, the idea of a killer doll or toy wasn't new, one only has to look back at movies like Dead of Night (1945), Magic (1978), and The Pit (1981) and countless episodes from anthology shows, but the way Child's Play was done totally straight gave it that special edge over what had come before.

Written and directed by genre master Tom Holland, Child's Play was based on an idea from Don Mancini and quickly become a slasher f...

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Author and critic Kim Newman reflects on Horror Channel's Hammer Classics Season
Posted on Thursday 1st November 2018

Very few people could write about Hammer films with the credentials that Kim Newman has. He's an award-winning author, a highly respected critic, a noted journalist and talented broadcaster and his passion for cinema is known throughout the industry. Here he takes a look at Horror's Hammer Classics Season.

Into the polite grey world of 1950s British cinema burst lurid EastmanColor decadence. In Essoldos, Odeons and Classics up and down the country, screens that were dominated by well-mannered, stiff-upper lip characters - the repressed romantics of Brief Encounter or the staunch heroes of The Dam Busters - suddenly ran red with gore, and the flash of the scarlet lining of Dra...

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Top 10 Halloween hits
Posted on Tuesday 30th October 2018

Are you having a Halloween party this year? Well, apart from having Horror Channel on in the house you might want some terribly terrifying tunes to help your party go on into the early hours.

We've trawled through the charts to bring you the definitive list of tracks guaranteed to send your ghoulish guests sleeping with the light on when they get home!

Here's our list and as usual please let us know your frightful faves via our social channels.

10: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand
Lovers of the Scream franchise will know this belter of a track from one of the world's most fascinating and adored song writers. From the album, Let Love In (1994) this has Cave in a vengeful tone which has helped it gain a huge following and has appeared in movies such as Dumb And Dumber (1994) and been covered by countless people including Jarvis Cocker. Cav...

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Hammer returns to Horror this November
Posted on Tuesday 23rd October 2018

From November 3rd, Horror Channel celebrates vintage 1950s home-grown fantasy and horror with a Hammer Classics Season, The primetime Saturday night season, consisting of four network premieres, which star the iconic Peter Cushing, kicks off with Val Guest's atmospheric masterpiece, The Abominable Snowman.

The other three, all directed by Terence Fisher, are the highly successful adaptations of the classic Universal monster movies: the brilliantly lurid The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the hypnotically sensual and gory Dracula (1958), which launched Cushing and Christopher Lee into global stardom, and The Mummy (1959), perhaps the most critically well-received Hammer movie of all time.

There are also Friday night network...

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13 nights of pure terror with Horror's Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 25th September 2018

Horror Channel presents its Haunted Halloween Season this October, taking possession of the nation's TVs for thirteen nights with a supernaturally spooky selection of premieres and classic favourites, including the UK TV premiere of Jesse Thomas Cook's The Hexecutioners, a nerve-shredding American Gothic tale of terror. There are also network premieres for the gripping US-remake of The Grudge starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Carles Torrens's paranormal chiller Apartment 143. Amongst returning channel hits are James Wan's supernatural stunner Insidious, John Carpenter's iconic The Fog, and Lluis Quilez's Colombia-shot suspense thriller Out Of The Dark.

There is also a small screen debut for Bruce McDonald's atmo...

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Celebrate Stephen King's 71st birthday with Horror
Posted on Friday 14th September 2018

He's sold well over 350 million of books, has just as many fans across the globe and celebrates his 71st birthday on September 21st, Stephen King is without doubt the most famous genre author in the world today.

From his first novel, Carrie in 1974, King has scared, inspired, and entertained countless people. His descriptive and raw prose has given us some of the most chilling and memorable characters including Pennywise, Johnny Smith and a dog named Cujo.

On the night of his birthday, Horror is celebrating in style with the first episode of the acclaimed series Under The Dome and a quartet of big screen versions of some of his finest books.

Here's all you need to know:

Under the Dome (8...

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Horror has everything this Autumn because We Are Horror!
Posted on Wednesday 29th August 2018

Horror Channel kicks off the Autumn season with eight chilling prime time weekend film premieres including the UK TV premiere of Adam Green's slasher favourite that gave the world Victor Crowley,Hatchet (14th Sep), starring horror icons Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and Tony Todd.

There are also TV firsts for Kieran Parker's Outpost III: Rise Of The Spetsnaz (15th Sep), the third installment of the hit Nazi zombie action horror franchise, Steven Sheil's graphic underground thriller Dead Mine (22nd Sep) set in Indonesia and Will Canon's haunted house horror Demonic (29th Sep).

September also sees network premieres for the gory and hilarious 100 Bloody Acres (8th Sep), the erotic, murderous triple-hander...

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10 FrightFest flicks for 2018
Posted on Thursday 16th August 2018

Puppet Master The Littlest Reich

Stewart Bridle, Channel Manager for Horror Channel, selects the FrightFest films to catch at this year's event.

It's that time again when the most torturous experience isn't being slowly sliced in half by a deranged chainsaw-wielding maniac but actually deciding what to watch from the massive line-up of over 70 films at this year's FrightFest London on the August Bank holiday weekend. Unless you've found some mad scientist to clone you several times you'll never catch everything so here are ten devious delights I recommend this year.

SUMMER OF 84 The RKSS collective return to FrightFest after wowing audiences back in 2015 with the terrific...

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5 Reasons To See Unfriended: Dark Web This Weekend
Posted on Friday 10th August 2018

Today marks the UK release of Unfriended: Dark Web. The latest nightmare offering an unnerving and unflinching look into what lies beyond the everyday realms of the internet.

When Matias (Colin Woodell) stumbles across a new laptop which runs a lot better than his current hunk o' junk, he connects with his friends online for their usual game night. He soon finds out that the computer he's picked up has a connection to the Dark Web, a horrific, and unmonitored part of the internet. Matias shares his findings, and his screen, with his friends during the game night, and finds himself the target of the laptop's original owner... who will ...

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Horror Channel unleashes monstrous FrightFest Season
Posted on Monday 6th August 2018

To celebrate FrightFest 2018, taking place in London during the August Bank Holiday, Horror Channel is dedicating thirteen nights to past festival hits.

Amongst the twenty-six fear-filled favourites, the channel will air four UK TV premieres: Simeon Halligan's 'terror-torial' home invasion shocker White Settlers; Jeff Maher's crowd-pleasingly ghoulish orgy of sex and gore Bed Of The Dead; Chad Archibald's breath-choking supernatural thriller The Drownsman; and the hauntingly sinister Nightworld, directed by Patricio Valladares and starring horror icon Robert Englund.

Plus, we're broadcasting three network premieres; Alberto Marini's sly and witty scaremonger Summer Camp; Bernard Rose's Frankenstein, a s...

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Horror Channel gets beastly in July with Animal Attack Season
Posted on Tuesday 19th June 2018

Nature gets nasty on Horror Channel in July with Animal Attack Season, a beastly collection of movies which will claw their way into your nightmares each Saturday at 9pm.

The season starts on the 7th with the big screen version of a Stephen king classic, Cujo. When sweet St. Bernard dog Cujo is bitten by a bat, he morphs into a dangerous beast and goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal. Then the following week a movie that has real bite, Burning Bright. Johnny Gavenau's latest get-quick-rich scheme is to turn his Florida...

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Happy 50th birthday Rosemary's Baby
Posted on Tuesday 12th June 2018

Kids! What are they like? Some can be cute, others can be little devils... literally!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the classic shocker Rosemary's Baby so here we take a look at five of the finest devil child movies. Do you agree with our list and which ones would you refuse to babysit?! Note we have not included the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Junior as that's horrific in other ways (!)

5: Devil's Due (2014)
A recently married couple on honeymoon experience a bizarre warning, a long journey, come across some strange symbols, then are drugged, left in a room and a couple of weeks later the wife discovers she's pregnant! Her pregnancy is a time of torture for her and convinced she's being watched. Could...

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