The Only Horror Sequel So Good, Tarantino Prefers It to Hitchcock's Original

The Only Horror Sequel So Good, Tarantino Prefers It to Hitchcock's Original
Image credit: Universal Pictures, Legion-Media

Quentin Tarantino unpopular opinion alert!


  • The original is a movie classic.
  • The sequel wasn't bad, but for most critics it wasn't in the same league.
  • As usual, Quentin Tarantino doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

The history of filmmaking is replete with examples of sequels that don't live up to the original. Of course, there are some notable exceptions to the rule – Terminator II and Rocky IV, to name a few. But some movies are generally considered so good that no sequel could possibly match them, let alone improve on them.

By the same token, Quentin Tarantino's views on movies should always be given the respect they deserve. Even if, on the face of it, they seem to make no sense.

Tarantino may be alone in this particular opinion

The original Psycho, released in 1960, is universally acclaimed. It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of the best movies made by one of the best ever directors.

Psycho II doesn't get the same amount of love. To be fair, there is an argument to be made that its relatively low RT score of 62% is an example of a sequel being unfairly panned simply because it's not the original.

As horror movies go, Psycho II is pretty decent. But it was made 23 years after the original. By that time, Psycho was well established as a part of cinematic history and the eternal zeitgeist of Hollywood.

It brought back Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates and, given the ending of Psycho, was almost seamless chronologically. But the passage of time and the nostalgia for the original that had built up between the two would always make it difficult for Psycho II to be considered on a par with its predecessor. This is evident in the way it was (and is) received.

The Only Horror Sequel So Good, Tarantino Prefers It to Hitchcock's Original - image 1

What does Tarantino say about the film?

Speaking at the Tarantino Film Festival in 2005, the legendary director stated that Psycho II is his favorite film in the horror genre. He also said that he's 'always been a big fan of the director, Richard Franklin'.

Before being asked to take on Psycho II, Franklin had already directed five films, including the black comedy horror Road Games and the sci-fi horror Patrick, which Tarantino said was the reason why Franklin was asked to make the sequel to the literal classic of cinema.

Tarantino also felt that Psycho II featured 'the very best performance by Anthony Perkins of all time.'

'I completely care about Norman Bates in this thing, and that's f****d up,' he said. 'I remember at the time with friends saying if they'd just f*****g left him alone, he'd been ok, alright? If that f*****g Vera Miles bitch had just left him alone, he'd have been fine! He was really trying to be good, and they all got what they f*****g deserved!'

Come on Quentin, get off the fence and tell us what you really think.

The Only Horror Sequel So Good, Tarantino Prefers It to Hitchcock's Original - image 2

Maybe Tarantino just doesn't like Hitchcock?

He may not have outright criticized Psycho and was more complimentary of its sequel, but when it came to the 1959 film North by Northwest, Quentin wasn't a fan.

Speaking to the New York Times, he described the Cary Grant thriller as 'mediocre'. This is another Hitchcock film that has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

For Tarantino, however, 'Hitchcock's acolytes took his cinematic and story ideas further. I love Brian De Palma's Hitchcock movies. I love Richard Franklin's and Curtis Hanson's Hitchcock meditations. I prefer those to actual Hitchcock.'

However, he went on to qualify that these remarks were largely aimed more at the film industry of the time than at the director.

'The 1950s held him down,' Tarantino said. 'Hitchcock couldn't do what he, left to his own devices, would've wanted to do. By the time he could do it in the late '60s and the early '70s, he was a little too old.'

Source: Tarantino Wiki, New York Times.