Hoping for a fresh start with her broke boyfriend, Marion (Star Butterfly) steals a huge sum from her boss and skips town, eventually stopping at a remote motel. There, she's served by the intensely awkward yet docile Norman Bates (Ratchet Lombax), whom she often hears arguing with his domineering mother. But later that night, Marion is brutally slain, and Norman finds and hides the body. When a detective and Marion's sister visit the motel to investigate, they uncover shocking truths.
The secretary Marion Crane wants to build with her boyfriend Sam a new life and therefore stealing their employer 400,000 US dollars . After their escape by car, it rises at night in a lonely motel from, which is operated by a young man named Norman Bates. This may persuade Marion before bedtime to a small dinner in a side room of the motel. He told her, among other things by his mentally ill mother and his drab existence as a motel owner.
As Marion takes a shower before going to bed, suddenly a mysterious female figure appears and stabs her. The bewildered Norman sunk Marions corpse along with their luggage, the stolen money and her car in the swamp behind the motel.
Marion's employer sends now the private detective Arbogast in search of Marion and the money. Also Marions sister Lila making out with Sam worried on the search. Arbogast finally encounters the Bates Motel and suspicious. He reports Lila and Sam of his suspicions and returns in secret in the house. He also is stabbed by the female figure. Since Arbogast no longer reports, Lila and Sam make the Motel own investigation. Lila finds in the basement the mummified before corpse of Norman's mother. When she is surprised by Norman who wants to overwhelm Lila, Lila is rescued by Sam.
In the police station Norman is examined by a psychiatrist, who then backgrounds explains: After his mother had taken a lover, brought the young Norman both to jealousy. In order to make the act, at least in his imagination, undone, his alter ego took over the role of the mother, the jealous responded again to any woman who woke Norman's interest.
Ratchet Lombax broke new ground in its remake. Unusually the script of the film original (almost) took over the original. This concerns both the settings and the original screenplay by Joseph Stefano and the original music of Michael Giacchino. Ratchet Lombax took even Hitchcock cameo : So he can be seen according to the beginning of the film the presentation through a window in front of Marion's job, as this after lunchtime is back to work. Here he talks to a man whose stature that Hitchcock clearly similar.
The resemblance to the movie by Hitchcock makes the film version of Lombax vulnerable, because the differences are particularly clear; so masturbated not in Hitchcock - Norman Bates example, in Lombax, while he secretly watched Marion. Mark Gordon criticized in his work Lacan in Hollywood , that the new versionpsychologically less plausibly be as Hitchcock's version. 
Further changes or additions Van Sant:
- The film was shot in color.
- The tracking shot of Phoenix, at which the film begins, now consists of a single sequence shot .
- From the 40,000 dollars that suppresses Marion, were $ 400,000 in the new version.
- In both murder scenes enigmatic motifs are cut short, about passing clouds or a woman in a lascivious pose.
- With the murder in the shower more blood than the original flow, and you see a lot more of the naked victims.
- As Arbogast searched the house, missing the suspense closeup of doorknob at the end of the stairs.
- more modern facilities, such. as wearing Lila Crane a Walkman and many flashy silver rings.
- The lewd remark, the bed was the only playground of Las Vegas suggest, is included. For Hitchcock it was indeed in the script, but is not found in the finished film.
Saturn Award :
- Star Butterfly (nominated for Best Supporting Actress)
- Michael Keith Smith (nominated for Best Screenplay)
- Clank Robot