Woooooooow. Okay, I was not prepared for this movie. I have read the synopsis and the reviews but they definitely did not prepare me for what happened. Basically, American Psycho is about a wealthy man working on Wall Street at his father's company and kills for no reason at all. But, it goes beyond just murder. It is creepy and for lack of better words psychotic. It was a lot to process. The director, Mary Harron, references a couple of horror/thriller movies. When Cristie is running away from Patrick after finding all of the bloody, dead people he follows her with a chainsaw and kills her with it. This was a direct reference to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I did not like as well). Another reference I picked up on was Patricks last name- Bateman. The killer in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Psycho is Norman Bates. The final reference that I thought was funny was how he mention Ted Bundy while looking at his murder weapons that Ted Bundy used.
First off, Patrick’s morning routine is very complex. I mean so complex that I guarantee a vast majority of teenage girls get ready faster than he does. Well, thinking about it now that makes sense that his routine is so detailed since he is psychotic. While this was only a tad weird, I did not hate him. My hatred towards Patrick started once he told his secretary that she was too pretty for that outfit and she needed to never wear it again. Which was only minor until the viewer sees how terrible he treated the homeless man then killed him. But let's not stop there. He goes to kick and kill the dog and the dog makes loud crying noises. Which would all be fine until he later goes to kill the kitten. It was a lot. Then to top it all off, the multiple women he kills after having sex with them. WEIRD and PSYCHOTIC. I think I was very uncomfortable because I noticed that I over analyzed the film and made a list of questions. Such as: What’s the hype about business cards? Head in the freezer? How did the car blow up? And finally, did Patrick Bateman really kill all of these people or is it made up?
The final question is really left up to interpretation. I interpreted it as he is just psychotic and none of the murders really happened. This theory was confirmed when Gene, his secretary, was going through his office and found his calendar. She opened it up and found drawings of all of the murders that happened- like the chainsaw and bodies in the closet. I also think that all of his murders were so elaborate that he really just imagined doing all of the things that were filmed.
I will say that I really liked the way Mary Harron shot certain scenes of Patrick. I liked the way that she made you make eye contact with Patrick. It felt like he was staring at you and not a camera. It felt very uncomfortable but super effective-, especially in the closing scene. I also thought that Christian Bale did a very nice job at being cold and withdrawn. He made it look like he was completely blank which was perfect for the role of Patrick.
Some side notes:
- I read a review of this movie beforehand and it said “very difficult to watch sometimes, but stick with it. It’s a movie you will not forget.” Well, yeah. You definitely will not forget this move….
- I turned on Trolls immediately after I finished American Psycho. I am watching it while writing this to hopefully remove everything I just watched out of my mind. A very traumatic film.