Articles for Horror: “American Psycho”

Patrick Bateman sitting like the sophisticated young man he was.


Patrick Bateman sitting like the sophisticated young man he was.

Autumn Castle, Staff Writer


Who was Patrick Bateman?

Patrick Bateman was the main antagonist of “American Psycho.” He lived in 1980s Manhattan and worked on Wall Street. He was a very sophisticated man, obsessed with his health, cleanliness, appearance, money, and music collection. However, he showed another side of himself: a serial killer, cannibal, and necrophile.

What was “American Psycho?”

In 1987, Patrick Bateman was a wealthy New York City investment banker, spending most of his time at popular restaurants while he kept up his appearance with his fiancée Evelyn and his wealthy friends, of whom he hated.

At a business meeting, Patrick and his friends admired their business cards, focusing on who had the best design and style. He knew he wasn’t the best out of his other friends, so he became enraged by the design of his friend Paul Allen’s card. After he left in a rage, he found a homeless man and his dog in an alley at night and killed them. 

He and Allen made plans for dinner after a Christmas party. Patrick resented Paul for his lifestyle and ability to get reservations at an exclusive restaurant which Patrick himself couldn’t get reservations for. He got Allen drunk, lured him to his apartment, and killed him with an ax while he listened to Huey Lewis. Patrick got rid of his body, and went into Allen’s apartment and left a message on his answering machine, claiming that Allen had gone to London.

A private investigator named Donald Kimball interviewed Patrick about Paul’s disappearance and mentioned to him that Paul may have been in London. 

Patrick invited two prostitutes, Christie and Sabrina, over to his apartment where he tortured them, paid them, and let them leave. His colleague, Luis, revealed a new business card, so Patrick tried to strangle him in the restroom of a restaurant. Luis mistook it for a sexual advance, and talked about his want for Patrick, who panicked and ran out of the restaurant. 

In a panic, Patrick then murdered a model and put her head in his freezer. The next day he invited his secretary Jean to dinner, and suggested that she meet him at his apartment. Patrick was about to kill her with a nail gun when he received a message on his answering machine from Evelyn.

He had lunch with Donald after a second interview was requested, who said that a friend of his claimed to have had dinner with him on the day of Paul’s disappearance, confirming the alibi. Donald said that the idea of one of Paul’s friends murdering him for no reason was not believable, which made Patrick nervous. 

He brought Christie to Paul’s apartment. Elizabeth, his acquaintance, was there, and he drugged Elizabeth before killing her. Christie ran and saw several female corpses as she looked for an exit. A naked Patrick chased her and dropped a running chainsaw on her as she ran down a stairwell. Afterwards, he broke off the engagement with Evelyn.

Later on, as he used an ATM, he saw a cat. The ATM showed the text on the screen “FEED ME A STRAY CAT,” so he was ready to shoot the cat. After a woman confronted him, he shot her instead. 

A police chase started, but he shot one of the officers and blew up a police car, killing the other policemen that were inside. Patrick then killed a security guard and a janitor before hiding in his office. He called his lawyer, Harold Carnes, and hurriedly left a confession on his answering machine and claimed to have killed 20 or more people and had eaten some of them. 

The next morning, Patrick visited Allen’s apartment to clean it – but he found it empty and for sale. A real estate agent told him that the apartment did not belong to Paul before he told him to leave and not return.

Patrick entered a state of hysteria; he called Jean, and went to meet with his friends for lunch. Shortly after, Jean found detailed, graphic drawings of murders and mutilations in his office. Patrick saw his lawyer and mentioned the phone message. He mistook Patrick for another man, and laughed off the confession as a joke. 

Patrick told him who he was and again confessed to the murders, but his lawyer said his claims were not possible since he recently had dinner with Paul in London. Confused, Patrick returned to his friends and they discussed typical “manly” things while Patrick sat there dazed. Patrick began to become unsure if his crimes were real or imaginary, realizing that he would never receive the punishment he wanted and needed. 

Patrick proclaimed that he was in constant pain, that he wished his pain was inflicted on others, and that his confession meant nothing.

How successful was “American Psycho?”

The film received positive reviews, with adoration for Christian Bale’s performance and the screenplay. The film grossed over $34 million on a $7 million budget. It has since developed a following and a strong love still almost 23 years after the film was released.