Bates Motel Recap: Episode 1.02 - Nice Town You Picked, Norma - Dread Central
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Bates Motel Recap: Episode 1.02 – Nice Town You Picked, Norma

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Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.02 - Nice Town You Picked, NormaIn the premiere of “Bates Motel” last week, we saw amazing performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddy Highmore, who did a fantastic job channeling a young Anthony Perkins. Now that the plot had been set up, we can learn more about the town and Norma’s other son.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you haven’t watched the episode yet. This is a recap with specific details from this episode. Continue only if you have already watched it.

Norman was fascinated by the little picture book he found last week while cleaning and obsessed over some of the bondage pictures. When the doorbell rang, he was awakened from his trance and hid the book. Norma ran down the stairs to open the door and was shocked to see the surprise visitor: her other son, Dylan.

Norman asked Norma how long Dylan was staying but she shrugged it off. Dylan walked in during Norma making breakfast and the family dynamics were definitely off. When Norma asked why Dylan was there, he replied that he lost his job and wanted to go home like normal people, unlike Norma, who hid her new location from Dylan.

When Norman got to the bus stop outside the hotel, the popular girls were there. Bradley asked why Norman left the party early the other night. She even asked Norman to study together and for real this time. Before he could answer, a car screeched past them and crashed into a ditch near them. They pried the door open and saw Bradley’s dad in the driver’s seat all burned up.

While a tow-truck worked on the car, Sheriff Alex Romero briefed Norma on Bradley’s dad, who owned a warehouse up the road. Someone set the warehouse on fire with him inside. Dylan walked up to his mom and remarked on the strange town they now lived in. She scolded him for calling her Norma and gave him work to do.

Sheriff Romero directed Norma to a side street. Keith Summers’ truck was parked there. (He was the previous owner; we know what happened to him from last week!) Norma kept her cool but the sheriff was a little suspicious.

In class, Emma imposed herself as Norman’s partner for the assignment and invited herself to the motel to work.

At the hospital, Norman brought a flowering plant to Bradley. She saw him but he was intercepted by Richard, who disdainfully stopped Norman from giving the plant directly to Bradley.

At a strip club, Dylan tried to enjoy the show but the patron next to him was crying. The patron lamented about his boss being in the accident from earlier. When he pulled out his stash of cash to pay, Dylan got interested.

Returning to the motel with his assignment, Norma was waiting. She scolded him for coming home late. She wanted to build a life there with Norman and would not let Dylan screw up her plans. Turned out that Dylan and Norman had different fathers and even Dylan noticed the slightly inappropriate closeness between Norma and Norman.

Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.02 - Nice Town You Picked, Norma - Norma

Dylan questioned Norma how she got the money for the motel. When she explained about the insurance policy, Dylan was not fully convinced.

Another doorbell rang while Norma and Norman were cleaning the kitchen. Emma arrived to work with Norman on their homework project. Norma immediately quizzed Emma on her life story despite Dylan trying to distract her. When Norma found out Emma’s life expectancy from cystic fibrosis was only until 27, she became at ease and even suggested Norman and Emma do their homework upstairs.

Emma and Norman worked on their poem homework in his room when their discussion topic evolved to contemporary murders. Emma found Norman’s little picture book. She was not disturbed by the pictures as she had read steamier manga and even borrowed it.

While Norma was getting ready for bed, another doorbell rang. If Bates Motel gets this much business, the Bates would be rich! Sheriff Romero and Deputy Shelby were at the door. They were asking her about Keith Summers and Norma slipped up during the questioning. She got a little flustered but refused to let them in without a search warrant. Did Norma just flirt with Deputy Shelby right there?

Driving through town, Norma stopped next to Deputy Shelby and joked about being arrested. Deputy Shelby asked her for coffee instead. At coffee, as they flirted, we got to learn more about the sheriff’s relationship with Keith Summers. The charming deputy even managed to arrange a “date” at the town festival that night.

A giddy Norma showed off to Norman what she was wearing for her evening “date”. Norma explained that she was buttering up the deputy as goodwill. Norman was amused. Then Norma undressed and tried on another top right there in front of Norman. When he looked a little uncomfortable, she shrugged it off. Even after she turned around, he continued watching her change.

When Norman expressed his concern and wanting to go with her, she quickly convinced him that her visit with the deputy wouldn’t mean anything.

At a boat building warehouse, Dylan was introduced by the strip club patron to a man named Gil, who promptly asked if Dylan knew how to use a gun.

Heating up dinner in the kitchen, Dylan’s cellphone rang and Norman cracked a joke about “The Whore” calling. Norman got visibly angry when he learned that was Norma and tried to fight Dylan. Dylan subdued Norman easily and quickly but Norman’s anger festered. He grabbed a meat tenderizer and tried to hit Dylan but missed. Dylan knocked Norman down and left. “She’s not a whore,” Norman sobbed angrily.

At the Woodchuck festival, Norma meet up with Deputy Shelby and he told us more about Keith Summers. When Norma brought up the weird things that are happening in town, the deputy offered more insights about the townspeople, who seem to be richer than they should be. Looks like the deputy may be in on town’s strangeness as well.

Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.02 - Nice Town You Picked, Norma - Norma & Dylan

Norma came home and found Norman with his bruises from earlier. Norma now wanted Dylan to leave and Norman agreed. After Norma left, Norman got a text message from Emma to meet at her store.

At the store, Norman found Emma working at the computer. Norman got fascinated by the taxidermy in the store. Emma’s dad was the best taxidermist in town. Sounds like someone’s gonna get an apprenticeship soon?

Emma was able to translate the picture book and learned the story of four girls from China who were forced to be sex slaves. One of them died and was buried nearby. So Emma wanted to go find the grave to prove the story and then planted a kiss on Norman. Norman was a little flustered but was pleased.

Related Story: “>All Bates Motel coverage

In the living room, Dylan was wistfully looking at happy pictures of Norma and Norman when she came downstairs. She told Dylan to leave in the morning. He then confronted Norma about Sam’s death and how he had to talk to insurance people to find her. He suggested that maybe he should tell the insurance people the true nature of her relationship with Sam. She got quiet. Dylan just continued drinking alone sadly.

Emma and Norma trek through the woods following the picture book. After stopping for Emma to catch her breath, they came up to a field of pot plants. They ran off when the guards saw them and they came across the shed from the picture book. Luckily they managed to escape.

Driving through town, Norma saw the burning body of a man hung upside down in the town square. What has she gotten them into by coming to this town?

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Annihilation – New Trailer and First Stills!

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We’ve been talking about Alex Garland’s new film, Annihilation, for a couple of years now, and finally Paramount has released some eye candy for you to digest in the form of a brand new trailer and several stills! Dig in!

Based upon Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez.

Look for it in theaters on February 23, 2018.

Synopsis:
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Natalie Portman plays Lena in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

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Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity, But Not Always a Better Product

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DesolationStarring Jaimi Page, Alyshia Ochse, Toby Nichols

Directed by Sam Patton


I’m usually all in when it comes to a psycho in the woods flick, but there was just something about Sam Patton’s Desolation that seemed a bit distant for me…distance…desolation – I’m sure there’s a connection in there somewhere. Either that or I’m suffering from a minor case of sleep-deprivation. Either way, make sure you’ve got your backpack stuffed, cause we’re hitting the timber-lands for this one.

The film focuses on mother and son tandem Abby and Sam, and the tragic notion that Abby’s love and father to her son, has passed away. The absence has been a crippling one, and Abby’s idea of closure is to take her adolescent offspring to the woods where her husband used to love to run and scatter his ashes as a memorial tribute. Abby invites her best friend Jenn along as emotional support, and together all three are planning on making this trip a fitting and dedicatory experience…until the mystery man shows up. Looking like a member of the Ted Kaczynski clan (The Unabomber himself), this creepy fellow seems content to simply watch the threesome, and when he ultimately decides to close the distance, it’ll be a jaunt in the forest that this close-knit group will never forget.

So there you have it – doesn’t beg a long, descriptive, bled-out dissertation – Patton tosses all of his cards on the table in plain view for the audience to scan at their leisure. While the tension is palpable at times, it’s the equivalent of watching someone stumble towards the edge of a cliff, and NEVER tumble over…for a long time – you literally watch them do the drunken two-step near the lip for what seems like an eternity. What I’m getting at is that the movie has the bells and whistles to give white-knucklers something to get amped about, yet it never all seems to come into complete focus, or allow itself to spread out in such a way that you can feel satisfied after the credits roll. If I may harp on the performance-aspect for a few, it basically broke down this way for me: both Abby and Jenn’s characters were well-displayed, making you feel as if you really were watching long-time besties at play. Sam’s character was a bit tough to swallow, as he was the sadder-than-sad kid due to his father’s absence, but JEEZ this kid was a friggin malcontented little jerk – all I can say is “role well-played, young man.”

As we get to our leading transient, kook, outsider – whatever you want to call him: he simply shaved down into a hum-drum personality – no sizzle here, folks. Truly a disappointment for someone who was hoping for an enigmatic nutbag to terrorize our not-so-merry band of backpackers – oh well, Santa isn’t always listening, I guess. Simplicity has its place and time when displaying the picture-perfect lunatic, and before everyone gets a wild hair across their ass because of what I’m saying, all this is was the wish to have THIS PARTICULAR psycho be a bit more colorful – I can still appreciate face-biters like Hannibal Lecter and those of the restrained lunacy set. Overall, Desolation is one of those films that had all the pieces meticulously set in place, like a house of cards…until that drunk friend stumbled into the table, sending everything crumbling down. A one-timer if you can’t find anything else readily available to watch.

  • Film
2.5

Summary

Looking for a little direction way out in the woods? Look elsewhere, because this guide doesn’t have a whole lot to offer.

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New 78/52 Clip Showers Off

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To celebrate the UK DVD release of the Psycho doc 78/52, we have a brand spanking new clip for you cats to go crazy over. Watch it quick; you don’t want to keep Mother waiting!

The flick, from director Alexandre O. Phillipe, features interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Marli Renfro – body double for Janet Leigh in Psycho, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley, and many more.

An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the ‘Man behind the Curtain’, and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema, 78/52 references the number of set-ups (78) and the number of cuts (52) in the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. One entire week out of the four weeks scheduled to shoot Psycho — a full quarter of the film’s production schedule — was dedicated to the infamous shower scene.

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