Anne Marie continues a special horror month on "Women's Pictures"
Fun fact: American Psycho was the single most voted for film for the horror edition of Women's Pictures. Despite that, I almost didn't include it. This isn't because of some sudden onset of squeamishness on my part, or dislike of the film. American Psycho simply isn't a horror movie, at least not by conventional standards. American Psycho is director Mary Harron's dark Juvenalian satire of American consumerism, materialism, and the crisis of masculinity in the turn of the 21st century.
Though set in the 1980s, American Psycho is one of a handful of films from the late 1990s and early 2000s that violently pokes at the concept of modern masculinity. Like American Beauty and especially Fight Club, American Psycho confronts the idea of modern man chained to a desk, unfulfilled and overburdened by contemporary consumerist definitions of success. The titular Psycho is Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a music-obsessed Wall Street broker in the decade where everything, from hair to shoulder pads to paychecks, was bigger. Bateman has all of the plastic markers of success: trendy apartment, good haircut, designer cloths, WASP fiance, the right friends, and a killer business card. But under his flashy, fake veneer, Patrick is all id. He wants to kill. He wants to fuck. He wants to possess. [More...]