"American Psycho" (2000)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Mary Harron
Written By: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
Released: Apr 21st, 2000
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Films
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.
First off, I loved the design of the opening credits. It was so satisfying. The simplicity, the colours, the music, the timing – everything. There was a humour and even a shred of elegance while building the idea of bloodshed to come. In a way it mirrored the character’s personality wonderfully.
The music was fun too. Lots of 80s songs thrown in there.
I was enjoying it more at the beginning of the film than I did following a scene in which he hurt a dog. I’m one of those people who doesn’t care about the human bloodshed, but as soon as you bring an animal into the equation, particularly dogs, I can’t tolerate that. I turned off the film for several minutes before deciding to continue. I wasn’t as into the contents and story thereafter. It was, as the name suggests, psychotic and barbaric. A slasher film of sorts…with a slightly black-comedic spin.
However, it’s one of those films that just looks well. All the camera shots, the design, Christian Bale’s frightening talent throughout the film was why I stuck it out. Funnily, much of the same reasons I stayed with Silence of The Lambs the first time I watched that. I didn’t like what I was watching but I could see and appreciate why it was so good.
The film took eight years before it was finally made. I was shocked to learn that Leonardo DiCaprio was in the equation to play the lead instead of Christian Bale for a chunk of this time. He is one of my favourite actors, but good grief no. He would have been taking up the part soon after he’d appeared in Titanic, meaning he would have looked far too young to play the character in question. Maybe in a few years’ time. Besides, Christian Bale so embodied the character I don’t even want to imagine someone else playing it.
If I could wish for one thing about this film it would be a more solid ending. It’s very ambiguous and I came away very confused and with more questions than I went in with.
At the end of the day this is a truly horrible movie. But I mean that in the best way possible.