“A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.”
IMDB rate American Psycho at 7.6 / 10. Total run time of 1 hour 40 mins approx. Christian Bale portrays Patrick Bateman in this instant cult classic horror flick from 2000. Bale is 26 when he stars in this movie, and it remains one of his most iconic roles. Not only is this a frightening film, but it is acted so brilliantly. Bale won an award for best actor in a leading role*
American Psycho – call me crazy – is in fact a movie that falls under multiple genre headings. Notably, comedy, albeit it is not easy to understand for some. However, not to sound big headed, I found it easy to pick up on this humour. It’s a black satirical comedy at the end of the day! It falls under drama, thriller and possibly romance as well.
So, here we have a young rich wall street banker in the 80’s. He’s living a rich lifestyle, hanging with rich friends at his private clubs, doing cocaine at nightclubs, sleeping with prostitutes on a regular basis as well as his beautiful girlfriend (Reece Witherspoon). The film opens by giving us this insight, I say insight because actually, we are quickly realising how big this guys ego is, and how full of himself he is. He is so sure of himself, so confident. We quickly learn his beauty routine, workout routine and general life routine. We know that he is of a higher societal class and is going far in his career with friends who kind of look out for him.
We also start to see how minor and insignificant things cause him inconsolable rage. The design of a business card by Paul Allen? Check. His fascination with music, in particular, Genesis and Phil Collins? Later he adapts his murderous personality so that he’s listening to his victims music, embodying their lives and fooling people into believing he’s someone he isn’t. Paul Allen so happens to be the first victim we see. A brutal axe killing, pre planned. Bateman is cold and calculating. He has all his furniture covered, covers himself and then unleashes the inner… psycho. He’ completely self-obsessed and mad.
Later on as he continues his killing spree whilst avoiding officer Willem Dafoe he is ******* street walkers while flexing muscles in the mirror. Going on dinner dates, becoming generally more murderous and the craziness doesn’t stop there. It’s funny, because he is so obsessed with himself and we know this.
It’s a good movie, and the acting is great. The story line is not too unbelievable either. The part that confuses everyone is the ending. Patrick Bateman knows he’s gone too far after killing dozens of people, stuffing their bodies in other peoples apartments and the like whilst lying to his friends. The end is the nail on the head. Bateman, on a murderous spree, kills police, multiple guards and citizens and then hides in his office to call his lawyer and confess all his sins.
We expect that the police will be there to arrest him. Instead, the apartment with the bodies has been recently re-painted, and the bodies gone. The woman hosting an open viewing of said apartment says this, ‘it’s best if you don’t come back,’ to which Bateman replies ‘I won’t.’ What is going on here? Is she a part of some clean up crew that is covering up his murders? Has his lawyer sorted all this out? After all, he’s being paid by Bateman.
Bateman is on edge, scared and heads to the club where his rich friends are. He meets his lawyer, tells him the truth again, and the lawyer thinks it is a joke. In fact, not one person in the club has anything to say when Bateman confesses out loud what he has done.
He sits down with his friends… we learn and understand a dark secret about this club and the people in it. Take away what you will, but Bateman is not alone. In fact, his lawyer even says that Paul Allen is alive and well and that he is fed up with this sick joke now.
I recently re-watched American Psycho, and you know what? I am going to watch it again, because it really is a great movie, a staple of American film making and acting. In the top 5 of Christian Bale films.
RATING: Watch this classic horror movie!