One of the more controversial books to be released in the early 1990s was the horror novel “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis. It was considered shocking, just like the novel and film “Psycho” were considered shocking in the late 1950s/early 1960s. The film adaptation of “American Psycho” was released in 2000, and it is appropriate to watch at Halloween time.
Set in the late 1980s, this movie stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a yuppie who lives in an upscale apartment in New York City. The polished and persuasive protagonist works on Wall Street and hates most of the people in his life. Unknown to his attractive girlfriend Evelyn (played by Reese Witherspoon), as well as his other friends, Bateman has an addiction to killing people. This addiction gets very hard for him to control.
Christian Bale is perfect as Patrick Bateman. Like Norman Bates from “Psycho,” Bateman is seemingly friendly at first, but as the story goes on, he is revealed to be very psychotic. The supporting cast is strong too, especially Chloe Sevigny as his assistant, who has a bit of a crush on him.
The movie is very well directed by Mary Harron. Her soundtrack makes very good use of iconic 1980s hits, albeit in non-nostalgic ways. In one of the killing scenes, the song “Hip to be Square” is playing in the background.
Overall, “American Psycho” is a much more cerebral offering for anyone looking for a different kind of slasher film than the “Friday the 13th” films.