American Psycho is often regarded as the first truly exceptional horror movie of the 21st Century; despite threats of protest and fears of commercial backlash, the film was a critical and box office success that’s become an important piece of cinematic history. Directed by Mary Harron and starring Christian Bale in a breakout performance, both American Psycho and its main villain Patrick Bateman have become iconic, occupying the upper echelons of horror fandom.
As much as people love American Psycho, the end is surprisingly nebulous. While I think everyone agrees Bateman is insane, is he really a sadistic murderer? Where does reality end? How much of Bateman’s life is a fantasy? And, for real, what the fuck happened to Paul Allen (Jared Leto)? Is he dead and wrapped in plastic or off doing business in London?
Related Article: 10 Things You May Not Know About Patrick Bateman
Regular readers of Horror Freak News know we’re huge fans of the folks at Looper and share their videos Top 10 lists often. Today, however, we’re bringing you a video essay that seeks to answer many of the lingering questions posed in American Psycho. Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Did you find this exposition illuminating? Let’s discuss!
Official Synopsis: American Psycho might have seemed like a straightforward film about a psychotic serial killer — one who has good hygiene and knows his font types. But the third act of the movie intentionally unravels and leaves us guessing about what, if anything, actually happened to our deranged protagonist throughout the whole film. See, that’s the trouble with having a delusional maniac at the center of the plot — his memory of his own supposed murder spree might not be so reliable after all. Like any good film, however, there are an abundance of clues scattered throughout the movie, and subsequent commentaries might help fans parse out Patrick Bateman’s reality from his mental fiction. So, let’s take a look at what really happened at the end of American Psycho…
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Official Synopsis: In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem Dafoe), the fiance (Reese Witherspoon), the mistress (Samantha Mathis), the coworker (Jared Leto), and the secretary (Chloë Sevigny). This is a biting, wry comedy examining the elements that make a man a monster