American Psycho Film Review
American Psycho is a 2000 thriller film. It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, and Chloe Sevigny. The story is by Bret Easton Ellis. The director is Mary Harron.
The story centers aroun d Psychosexologist a Wall Street tycoon named Patrick Bateman. Bateman is a conformist and a perfectionist. He also has a side to him that nobody knows about. At night, he sometimes seeks the company of prostitutes. Bateman has a lust for blood and will kill anybody he feels like killing. He will sometimes kill coworkers simply because they have a better-looking business card than he does. His desire for blood soon slips over into his days and he begins to lose control of his “mask of sanity”.
Although many would classify this film as a typical horror movie, I believe it is so much more. Of course it has the makings of one with all the blood and violence, but it also has the psychological aspect. We get to experience what Patrick Bateman is thinking and going through. We see his confusion with what is right and what is wrong. The audience gains an understanding and almost a sympathy for Bateman as he begins to realize what he has done.
One thing I noticed even before I saw the film is the connection between the names of fictional serial killer Norman Bates of Hitchcock’s horror classic Psycho and Patrick Bateman of this film, American Psycho. Bates and Bateman, Psycho and American Psycho. Plus, Norman Bates was clearly based on murderer Ed Gein in the 1950’s. Likewise, Patrick Bateman is obsessed with well-known murderers, including Gein. He even quotes him in a scene in the middle of the film, catching his friends completely off guard by saying it right out of the blue.
Another feature that caught my eye was Bateman’s obsession with fitting in and having the best and most expensive possessions of all his friends. His obsession with conformance may have been what drove him to be so psychologically confused and, somehow, enhanced his blood lust. Bateman was so into being like who he thought his friends were, that he lost track of who he really was. He surrounded himself with all these things that weren’t really him at all and it drove him over the edge.