Starring: Christian Bale, Jared Leto, Justin Theroux
Director: Mary Harron
Running Time: 102 mins
American Psycho is an American film about a wealthy Wall Street investment banker who struggles to keep control of his murderous and psychotic alter ego, further descending into a world of blood.
So, this film is pretty horrific. It’s an absolutely insane display of violence and psychological trauma, and is very often tough to watch such is the graphic nature of a lot of the violence. However, all the killing is so extreme in this film, it actually feels like a seriously black comedy, rather than just a crime thriller.
Basically, I’ve heard that the book that this is based on is meant to be somewhat humorous, and while it seems as if this film is more focussed on the psychological thriller, crime and violence aspect of the story, the fact that the killing is so extreme in this film, with Tarantino-esque blood spurting, axes, chainsaws, and a whole host of other mad murders throughout, and that just makes this seem so much more comedic than you’d expect.
Something else that adds to that black comedy feel of this film is Christian Bale’s fantastic performance as Patrick Bateman. His disturbing murder rituals are completely ridiculous, his materialistic obsessions are idiotic, and his laugh is so chillingly insane that you just can’t help thinking that this whole thing can’t be serious.
However, the main part of Bale’s performance is how terrifying he is to watch. When he’s not doing that insane laugh, or murdering someone, his totally silent, emotionless character really gave me shivers every time he appeared in that way, and that was probably the main reason that this film was so horrifying and disturbing to watch.
Meanwhile, this story has got a big twist in it. The majority of the film is just watching Bale mindlessly killing random people, however you’re watching it wondering why. The story waits right up until the end to turn the story on its head, and while it is still hugely ambiguous, and a little unsatisfying, it adds a whole extra, psychological level to this story.
Overall, this gets an 8.6, because it’s an intriguing, disturbing, darkly comedic and exciting film to watch.