TV Club: In “Hidden,” Bates Motel goes full horror movie

“What’s really going on here, Norman?”

Bates Motel is a shifting animal. It’s had to be small-town Gothic, Greek tragedy, campy B-movie, psychological horror, and character study—with genres often changing minute-to-minute. “Hidden,” however, is wholeheartedly a horror movie, and makes Norman both the victim and the bad guy.

In this season, the inevitable camp of the series ramping up to Psycho strains against an oddly autumnal sense of horror from Norman Bates as he loses control over his own mind by inches. That’s the Norman whose suffering is viscerally rendered by Freddie Highmore—the Norman who agonizes over an afternoon in which his consciousness has disappeared, and whose tentative connection to Madeleine (“It’s hard to know what’s real in any moment unless it’s right in front of you and you’re experiencing it”) feels more sincere than it should because of this absence …

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