Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho is turning 60 on June 16, which means it’s about time we revisit the movie which spawned a unique and uniquely fun horror franchise. In order to properly honor Hitchcock’s Psycho, we’re revisiting every movie in the franchise and seeing how they shape up after all this time. That means we’re ranking all four movies — Psycho, Psycho II, Psycho III, and Psycho IV: The Beginning, plus the 1987 Bates Motel TV special and the 1998 Gus Van Sant remake, from worst to best.
Hitchcock’s Psycho is a unique entry in his stories canon as a director. Adapted from the Robert Bloch novel of the same name and loosely inspired by the murders of notorious midcentury serial killer Ed Gein, Psycho is the kind of bloodless horror movie which still finds interesting ways to run a chill up your spine. That might be in part thanks to Anthony Perkins, who plays the movie’s young killer Norman Bates in a breakout performance. Psycho also features solid performances from Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, Vera Miles as Lila Crane, John Gavin as Sam Loomis, and Martin Balsam as Detective Milton Arbogast. Boasting one of the most famous shower scenes in movie history and more than enough to material to psychoanalyze in the case of Norman Bates, Psycho lives on as a foundational horror movie and queer text. But how does it hold up against its sequels, a remake, and a TV special?
Keep reading to see how every Psycho movie in this highly underrated horror franchise shapes up; you might be surprised which title come out on top.