Harron's brilliant adaptation of Ellis's novel succeeds, not just in its parody of 80s corporate culture, but in presenting a world defined entirely by the subjective viewpoint of its lead protagonist. The events depicted are not horror, but the tragic fantasy of a man who sees life refracted through an empty prism of consumer brands, beauty regimes, tacky pop music, violent exploitation, action movies & pornography.
Presenting, for your neo-camp horror comedy delectation, a world so disaffected and materialist that no one can remember who anyone else is and the closest anyone comes to empathy is when they listen to Phil Collins. It's a fiendishly witty joke, which is good, because for much of its runtime, it's all American Psycho has got. Maybe it's impossible to do a deep satire of a shallow worldview. But it comes damn close.
A cogent post-modernist critique of the extremism of capitalism. Christian Bale captures the malevolent psyche of Patrick Bateman with insidious glee. Ellis' best novel is Ballardian in scope. Harron's adaptation crystalises the novel's scathing spirit.
Interesting adaptation from the source material: while the novel is relentless psychological horror with slivers of humor throughout, the film is a straight-up absurdist black comedy with dark existential musings. Beautiful cinematography, and if someone had told me John Cale did the soundtrack I would have watched it years earlier.
Is this film really considered horror by the masses? Certainly not by the filmmaker, or the cast/crew... Satire, through and through. One of the most brilliant dark comedies of this millennium in film.
The film's conclusion is ambigous but it puts the events into question and I thought it was somewhat smart. Of how Bateman's paranoia brought on by the shallowness of the society around him as part of the 80's hedonism.
Probably one of the best adaption of a novel ever made. I think that director Harron and scriptwriter Turner really got the gist of Ellis novel and just made it their own story. So out of a novel filled with vile male vanity and violence they made a slick, stylish and smart satire that effectively ridicules the eponymous protagonist and his peers with gusto. And Bale has never been better...
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Maybe its age or maybe I've gotten more critical as the years have gone on but I don't like this movie as much as I used to. Its funny and entertaining as hell, at times even clever, but the movie couldn't get away with the ambiguity the book could. A fine effort but the ending was too blurry to be satisfying.