Jadia at the Movies- “American Psycho: Blast from the Past”

Jadia Smith, Staff Writer

“American Psycho,” you say? Holy Throwback Thursday, Batman! Straying from my usual path of movies that are new to theatres, I thought it might be fun to spotlight an older, well-known film. A handsome lead actor, and all the goodness of 80s cheese, without further adieu, get excited for a little cult classic known as “American Psycho.”

            “American Psycho” is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Bret Easton Ellis in 1991. It stars Christian Bale as the charming, handsome, successful Patrick Bateman, who is a serial killer on the side. Yes, my dear readers, before Christian Bale was Batman, he was a psychopath. Oh, sweet irony.

            Bateman is a successful banker in Manhattan during the late 1980s, and his daily routine consists of going to work, eating at upscale restaurants with his wealthy friends, and seeing his fiancé. He doesn’t actually like any of these people, which he states out loud for the audience. Bateman is obsessed with image, and kills a coworker, Paul Allen, after Allen’s business card proves to be nicer than Bateman’s.

            Bateman begins to become paranoid and even more psychotic than he was before, except now, his psychosis isn’t carefully controlled, it’s causing Bateman to become completely unhinged. His downward spiral is nothing short of comedic gold, at least to me. I couldn’t contain my laughter at the sheer madness that is Patrick Bateman. The ending is great, but I won’t give it away, you’ll have to watch it!

            Christian Bale’s portrayal of the attractive, successful, psychotic egomaniac is brilliant. I honestly don’t think anyone could have done it better. As the audience, you really believe him and you start to almost feel sympathy for Bateman. “Could this have been avoided? I mean, did he have to become this monster?” These are questions I found myself asking.

            Though it was made in 2000, “American Psycho” really does well with being set in the late 1980s. The music, costumes, and effects are spot-on for the setting. Since Bateman is a psychotic killer who does use a chainsaw once (this scene is a must watch), there is a lot of blood. Effects were great because it wasn’t the dark, chocolate syrup looking blood that many 80s slasher flicks claimed as their own. It was realistic, and I really enjoyed that.

            I have never read the novel, so I am unable to say how similar “American Psycho” is to it. Actually, this was my first time watching “American Psycho,” thanks, of course, to my Netflix account.  I had always heard about the film, and did know the general plot beforehand. It was worth watching I must say, especially if you are a fan of Christian Bale. Think of “The Dark Knight” in an alternate universe of sorts. 

            Overall, the cast was great, the effects were good, and the plot was interesting for the hour and forty-minute long run time. “American Psycho” is one of those cult-classics that I must insist everyone watch, if not for the sole purpose of knowing who Patrick Bateman is. It gives you the cheesy goodness of a 1980s slasher film, without the low-quality effects of the 1980s. On my Most Awesome Rating Scale, “American Psycho” is deserving of 6 out of 10.