Before Batman, he was Bateman

American Psycho and its uniqueness as a horror film


"TIFF 2019 christian bale" by JiBs.

On the outside, a prosperous and charismatic young man, on the inside, a ruthless and insane killer, the story of Patrick Bateman in Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho isn’t for the faint of heart. In this week’s edition of Cinema Summaries, Andrew gives his opinions on the film.

Andrew Jáuregui, Interactive Media Editor

Christian Bale is famous for many roles. One standing out in particular, Batman. Starring in Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Bale portrayed a selfless hero who was dedicated to saving his city. However, before he was Batman, he was Bateman.

Released in 2000, American Psycho is a unique horror film directed by Mary Harron. The film follows a wealthy young man named Patrick Bateman, who, at first glance, is charismatic and handsome. However, this is all a facade. On the inside, Bateman is a ruthless and insane serial killer.

Bateman becomes increasingly violent and insane throughout the film, but it is up to the viewer to discern what are the cold-hearted actions of a serial killer and what are the delusions of a psychotic maniac. In the end, the film ends up leaving you questioning what horrors beauty is capable of shielding.

Much of this film’s impact is derived from its shock and suspense, so I do not intend to spoil the film. I do, however, want to recommend it for its uniqueness. Although the film is a horror film, I did not find myself scared while watching it. I believe it to be one of the few examples where a horror film seeks not to horrify its viewer, but to tell a story of a horrific nature. For this reason, the film feels extremely worthy of the praise it often receives.

The film is widely considered to be one of Bale’s best roles, however I must inform all those considering giving it a watch that the film contains all manner of subjects and imagery that one might expect from an R-rated film. I do not recommend watching this film if you are overly sensitive to explicit or horrific imagery. With that out of the way, the film can currently be watched free with some advertisements on Amazon Prime Video.