2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Mary Harron’s American Psycho. Since its $34 million theatrical release, the film has gained a serious social media cult following full of Patrick Bateman profile pictures and shared images. However, this film has more to offer than really good memes. In American Psycho, writers Harron and Guinevere Turner take a story about a corporate sadist and turn it into a horrifying and comedically gory deconstruction of toxic masculinity.
American Psycho is the story of Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale). Bateman is a New York Wall Street banker in every physical form of the word, but behind it all he hides a fiendish secret life. The film resides in and is narrated through the mind of the main character, and with that the audience gains insight on his corporate world, his public façade and his nightly murder escapades. Having the story narrated through Bateman’s mind is one of the cleverest and most telling points of the film. In Patrick’s mind, the audience finds out that he not only has the incapability of any human emotion but he also has an innate need to compete with colleagues in any way he can find, and he brutally criticizes, mimics and threatens every woman he meets.