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YMMV / Bates Motel (1987)

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The revelation that all the teenagers who attend the Bates Motel's re-opening night are ghosts sent to talk Barbara out of suicide is so out of keeping with the rest of Psycho canon that some find it easier to believe they're a bunch of genuine teenagers who just came to scam Alex out of food and drink, but felt bad once they actually started doing so, and so decided to talk Barbara out of killing herself to make up for it. Even the few vaguely supernatural things that Sally seems to do — unlocking the door to Barbara's room despite having the wrong key, and then getting in despite the door being the bolt lock being on — could be explained away as Alex screwing up and giving her a spare key for Barbara's room in the former instance, and Sally having hidden away in Barbara's closet in case Tony was unable to talk her out of killing herself in the latter instance.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The second time we see him, Henry is holding police at bay with a shotgun, so that developers can't move in and demolish his home. After Alex offers him somewhere to live in exchange for helping to rebuild the motel, this scene is never referenced again.
  • Bizarro Episode: With its focus on supernatural elements, the film feels absolutely nothing like any other material in the Psycho seroes, isn't acknowledged by any future instalments, and is generally ignored by fans.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The film is mostly ignored by fans because of how disconnected it was with the franchise, to the point where it could've been a separate movie entirely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Robert Picardo playing a doctor? Hmmm, why does that sound familiar?
    • The idea of a supernatural anthology series based on a popular horror film series would later be done a little more successfully the following year with Freddy's Nightmares. And the third episode of that show featured none other than this film's lead actress, Lori Petty.
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  • Narm: The ending of the film is just so ludicrous — with both Fuller and Willie dressed like Mrs. Bates, both doing so by wearing what look like cheap Halloween costumes, and the sequence accompanied by ridiculously overdone black-and-white filters and slow motion — that it likely helped kill any remote possibility of a full series based on the film.
  • Wangst: Because Barbara is only introduced with around 25 minutes of the film left to go, her decision to kill herself because she's divorced three times with no children doesn't exactly get a whole lot of development, and ends up coming across more as an overreaction to bad luck rather than her having genuinely crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
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