American Psycho

American Psycho ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Soo, why did nobody tell me this movie is a comedy. Far from the straightforward horror I expected, this is a pitch black satire on upper class white toxic masculinity. There's a real intelligence in the way the wall street society is deconstructed. Though these men have all the resources in the world at their disposal, they use it on pointless social games and one-upmanship. They are so interchangeable that nobody can tell them apart, since they look the same, act the same and have no personality whatsoever. Patrick Bateman is able to get away with his violent acts not because he is a genius, but rather because he is so milquetoast that nobody thinks about him for half a second, even to suspect him of horrible murders.

The film never really feels like it exists in the real world, but that seems to be the point. We are seeing the warped view of the world that comes from Patrick Bateman's warped mind. We cannot trust what we are seeing at any moment, since he himself often seems unsure of what's happening around him. He is a man so confident in his superiority over others, yet always hyper aware of how inferior he is to everyone and everything around him. Is he actually committing these murders, or is he just imagining them to give himself something resembling a trait beyond his exterior veneer.

There's a lot to think about in this film. It is so much more than I expected it to be, and so much more than what's just on the surface. Bale's performance is an all-timer, expertly holding this wild and wacky film together. Also worthy of praise is Mary Herron's directing. A satire like this could prove unwieldy in lesser hands, but she expertly crafts it, making a film that is clearly a satire, but still feels real enough to be disturbing.