After ordering ten episodes without seeing a pilot, it became clear that A&E was confident it had a hit on its hands with Bates Motel, the prequel series to Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho that will debut next year. The network has released a barrage of promotional materials over the last week, including the first still image and a series of cast photos and character descriptions.
Fortunately, the confidence the network has in the series seems to be paying off, as the materials have already garnered significant interest and attention. Now the network has released two teaser trailers for the series - the first one you can see above - which are brimming with creepy atmosphere and subtly disturbing imagery.
The teaser trailers come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. Check out the second one below:
The trailers do a great job of establishing that creepy, haunting quality that the "Master of Suspense" cultivated with his 1960 horror masterpiece. In just 30 seconds - nearly 15 seconds per trailer - that sense of dread and fear that was palpable throughout Psycho returns, and that's definitely a good sign.
The first teaser places us directly inside the terrifying Bates Motel, slowly panning over to a sink that looks innocent enough, but the Inception-esque music tells us otherwise. Then, as the one-shot pulls back, it reveals someone's arms and hands cuffed to the sink's pipe underneath it. Could this be one of Norman's first victims? He's only 16 when the series begins, so does this mean his violent tendencies reveal themselves early on? As the teaser ends, we're left to wonder.
In similar fashion, the second teaser gives us glimpse at another murder. The shot pans over across a lake shore scene at night, then tilts up, showing a hanging, burning body, but only from the knees down. Again, we don't get to see much, leaving us only to speculate what led to this horrific event.
The brief synopsis, also courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, sets up the story for the series premiere, titled "First You Dream, Then You Die." Check it out:
“Norma Bates buys a motel on the outskirts of an idyllic coastal town seeking a fresh start with her teenage son, the handsome and shy Norman.”
Hopefully, Bates Motel will place an emphasis on psychological horror and suspense, a la Psycho. There's a reason Hitchcock was known as the "Master of Suspense." He created tension and built suspense without showing much violence at all, even though many of his films were considered to be graphic at the time. It was the music, the slow-burn pacing and the audience's anticipation of violence that created the horror - an approach few horror films take today. These days, horror audiences seem to crave gore, so we'll see just how explicit Bates Motel ends up being and if it favors more psychological and suspenseful scares.
I think we're all more interested and eager to see how the series develops Norman's character and how he transforms into the psychotic killer we know and love.
Bates Motel airs on A&E in 2013.
Source: Entertainment Weekly