American Psycho

American Psycho ★★★★★

"I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?"

Likely one of my Top 100 films of all time, Mary Harron's 'American Psycho' is as accurate and cuttingly hilarious as an adaptation can get, faithfully bringing Bret Easton Ellis' shocking, misogynistic and blackly comedic satire to the screen with ravenous success. This film wouldn't be the cult classic that it is without the scenery chewing, unhinged performance from lead Christian Bale, as he showcases insane levels of hypocrisy, grand self-delusion and homicidal tendencies as a Wall Street big wig with severe mental and psychological issues, paving the way towards one of my favorite ambiguous endings ever, both in the film and the novel: is Patrick Bateman the psycho he seems to be, or is he so far gone mentally that it's nothing more than visions and episodes? It's obviously a film that's too dark and twisted for more casual viewers, but for those willing to dive into the nastiness unfolding, you're in for a treat.

The satirization and self-indulgence throughout is rampant and rich, with egos the size of planets sported by the cast; they're all so self-important and narcissistic that it's a wonder they recognize the world around them. The materialism and trendy lifestyles from the novel translates so wonderfully from the book, albeit in not as much detail (you'd need several installments for that), unless it's the sequences involving Patrick's love and knowledge of music (also full of material buzzwords and grandiose overstatements) or the richness of the menu offerings at the wildly upscale restaurants they frequent. Bale's performance also can't be overstated, coming off as a suave, urbane gentleman who (at times) manages to hide his cold gaze and frenzied bloodlust just long enough to trick his next victim (or vision of a victim) into his homicidal arms. The film's also so detailed and full of ambiguity beyond the final moments - out of the dozens of viewings I've had, I've noticed so many clues and tidbits that work with either ending theory, and I love the film all the more for it. This is one of the greatest cult classics ever made and one of my favorite, more underrated psychological horror films.

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