American Psycho (2000)- “I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane?”
The movie stars Christian Bale as Patrick/Pat Bateman, an intelligent, good looking Wall Street guy who is indistinguishable from his other buddies. He’s a wealthy guy but he harbors a very dangerous secret. He’s a psycho serial killer with a vanity that could rival the Kardashians. His daily morning routine proves how much he likes to maintain his good looks. Though his killings are usually triggered by envy – I mean he gets jealous of a colleague’s business card for goodness sake – they are usually well planned. He is bloodthirsty and enjoys good music. He’s engaged but sleeps around with other women like prostitutes and call girls and his friend’s fiancee. He keeps losing his cool more and more throughout the movie and we see him become sloppier.
Although evil as he is, I liked the guy. What’s hotter than a serial killer who likes music? Nothing. I was rooting for him. I hoped he wouldn’t get caught and hoped that he’ll make a bigger mess later on. I started to wonder how long he could keep doing what he’s doing and still maintain his cool persona at work.
Hey, I’m a child of divorce, gimme a break! -Patrick Bateman
Mary Harron is the film’s director and she did a good job shining the light on men’s vanity and its fragility. It would have been easy to make Patrick an anti-hero or shine light on his mental health issues to make him seem misunderstood and broken. But Mary displayed him as he was, a serial killer whose biggest fear is that someone’s life is better than his. I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved the fact that a woman directed this movie. Because instead of a male-biased film she gave us a film that has a man all women encounter – well, maybe with a lower body count. She did a great job in making Bateman the hero but not by making him heroic. She just made it seem like it was a hobby of his.
The only scene that really had my heart pounding was where he picked up a stray kitten and was going to shoot it but an old lady saw him and told him to stop. He shot her instead. So you don’t know how happy I was to see him let go of the kitten. And then subsequently go on a killing spree.
Will I watch it again? Yes, but not anytime soon. Though I’ve been wanting to see this for a long time, I was not disappointed, though just a little underwhelmed. I got into it with the wrong idea of what kind of movie it would be. I thought it was going to be just like any slasher movie. But once I got over that, I can see why it’s called a classic by some and why it has woven itself into pop culture.