Original Soundtrack

Psycho [1998]

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For his disastrous shot-for-shot 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's landmark thriller Psycho, filmmaker Gus Van Sant enlisted Danny Elfman to tweak Bernard Herrmann's seminal original score, arguably the most innovative and influential Hollywood music of the postwar era. Recorded with antique microphones to lend the endeavor some semblance of authenticity, Elfman's fidelity to Herrmann's work nevertheless extends only so far -- this new Psycho is faster, louder, and more feral than the original, yet the music's familiarity effectively dulls its impact. With Herrmann's original score still readily available, one questions precisely what purpose Elfman's update serves -- and why such a daring, unique composer would agree to step into such impossibly large shoes in the first place.

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