Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is commonly held up as the granddaddy of slasher horror flicks, in addition to being one of the greatest motion pictures of all time. A&E’s prequel TV series, Bates Motel, is looking to loosely explore the origins of the titular “psycho,” Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), as he and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), move to a new town to manage a hotel (Newhart this is not).

Though a number of trailers for the series have already been released, A&E just debuted the first proper trailer, sans interviews, which showcases Norman’s (offputting?) relationship with young girls, his mother’s desire to protect him (perhaps even from himself), and the strange town that they’ve made their home.

The trailer does quite a bit right in terms of selling the show. The production values are super slick, the cast is top-notch, and there are some very interesting questions being posed (but not answered).

Was Norman always sick? Or will he be turned into a “psycho” over the course of the show? Is his mother a good person, just trying to do right by her son (not unlike Dexter’s father)? Or is there something wrong with her, too, as there was in Psycho IV: The Beginning? Is Bates Motel just a story about a (very creepy) boy and his (potentially creepy) mother, or will the surrounding town factor into the story in a major way?

Again, none of these questions are answered in the trailer, but there’s enough information provided to leave the viewer wanting more.

Though many people were understandably skeptical upon hearing about a prequel – or is it a reimagining? – of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic PsychoBates Motel has fast become one of the more highly-anticipated new series of 2013, thanks primarily to the very promising footage and promotional materials.

Plus, the showrunners’ indication that this show will ultimately be a tragedy (as in, you will fall in love with Norman and it will be “tragic” when he eventually becomes the iconic monster we’re familiar with) brings to mind the excellent Psycho II, which saw a mentally healthy Norman Bates being gaslit back to crazy-town. And really, anything that brings to mind Psycho II is something worth looking forward to.

What’re your thoughts, Screen Ranters? Will you be watching Bates Motel when it airs in March, or do you prefer your Norman Bates in black and white?

Bates Motel – co-created by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) – premieres March 18th, 2013 @10pm on A&E.

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