Saturday, October 11, 2014

Movie Review: "American Psycho" (2000)

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Movie"American Psycho"
Director: Mary Harron
Year: 2000
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is an almost stereotypical 1980's yuppie businessman. He is very wealthy, handsome, has an excellent job, and a high-end apartment. Patrick has a workout and beauty routine, he only listens to popular music, and he only dines at the most popular and trendiest places. He would be the perfect yuppie...except he is also a complete sociopath, is utterly insane, and has an insatiable lust for blood. 

Christian Bale was the perfect choice to play Patrick Bateman. He got so deeply enthralled in this role and used an American accent so perfectly that some of the crew didn't even know he was British until the wrap party. Another piece of trivia is that Bale based his performance of Bateman on an interview that Tom Cruise had with David Letterman in the year 2000. We don't want to go that far and say that Tom Cruise is a serial killer, but...

Some may say that "American Psycho" is not a horror film, and we have to disagree. Many of the acts depicted on screen fit right in line with the horror genre as they are often done in a relatively graphic manner. The fact that Bateman, on the surface, is a charming and attractive business man only adds to the horror because he is unassuming. The film as a whole is also an indictment of the extreme vapid overindulgence of the 1980's lifestyle, so much so that the people Bateman encounters at work and socially are self-centered enough to not even notice nor care what is going on around them. Between the slicked back hair, off-white business cards, same business suits, and indistinguishable tonalities, they are all so conformist that half the time they can't even tell each other apart, even when someone is murdered. In fact, some people might classify this movie as a comedy because it's humorous to watch everything play out like a bad throwback sketch. Patrick is epitome of indulgence as he is never fully satisfied with his killings. He starts slow as a killer but gets more bold and more outrageous with each murder. When it comes time to confess to his crimes, no one believes him and even his own lawyer dismisses them as a prank. It's really quite disgusting to watch, not for the continuous bloody violence, but for the simple act of knowing that if Bateman throws enough money at his problems, someone somewhere will make them disappear. He will never have to pay the price for his actions, like many wealthy criminals today, and if that's not the epitome of a horror movie, we don't know what is.

Also, there seems to be a theory online that all of the murders in this film/book took place in Bateman's head alone. Book writer Bret Easton Ellis has pointed out that if none of the murders actually happened, the entire point of the novel would be rendered moot. The film's director Mary Harron and screenwriter Guenavere Turner have also said that the murders in the story are very much real. Hopefully, this put that hypothesis to rest.

Overall, this movie is a well acted look at the yuppie lifestyle with a savage and brutal twist on how the overindulgence of some can never be quenched.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching"It"

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