Film Corner: American Psycho (Redux)

American Psycho

[Guest Post by Kissmate. Previous live-watch by Ana is here.]

[Content Note: Racism. Murder. Stereotypical movie sociopathy. Misogyny.]

I'm attempting a live-tweet of American Psycho. First thread and first watch, so let's get a feel for it and get rolling with dead-eyed Christian Bale! All I know about this movie is nothing or everything is real, and it's up to the viewer to determine what is or isn't. I think.

Blood/red sauce is served with the credits, and a huge helping of culinary masterpieces as nice eye candy. All of the food (save the ravioli) sounds like ass. But, not the point, as the characters are name-dropping and platinum card spending. I mean, props to the main character telling the a-hole to chill the antisemitism? Doesn't make him look any less of a capitalist ass, but it's still a nice touch. From fancy "only $570" restaurant to hole-in-the-wall dance club. Main character gets tickets rejected at the Cash Bar, so he has to pay cash. As she gets the drink, he loudly says how he wants to murder her and play in her blood. She reacts not at all.

As he walks away, I'm left wondering WTF? I'm guessing he just thought this, as we would when things don't go our way. But, maybe she hears this all the time in a dark club, or didn't even hear it at all? The questions linger as we switch to a minimalist modern apt. Staring into the Les Mis painting as he pees, and then he tells us about how his days go. VERY POSH AND EXPENSIVE. He uses as many products as guys joke women have. Then a nice edgelord analogy of how he's "only an entity, something illusory" and I'm just-

This feels like the "OG Edgelord" that every Edgy White Boy TM wants to be, but fails? Even THIS GUY is failing! He's an asshole in his head, but applies protective lotions and wears ice packs on his face when he core crunches. He's as pointless as a pizza cutter! OMG After "edge edge darkness edge" we get "Walking on Sunshine" and I'm LOSING IT! So add sexist to the list of adjectives, as he tells his secretary to wear a dress or skirt. "You're prettier than that. High heels, I like high heels." She's not getting paid enough for this shit, I can tell.

He blows off his fiancee's wedding ideas as he "can't take the time off of work" and he only has the job because his father owns the company and he "" Excuses for a loveless marriage? Or something more? Either way, I can see poor Reese Witherspoon getting axed in this movie. Not sure when, but before the end, I can tell. Also, she was really easily reading off an itemized list for a VERY EXPENSIVE wedding. Marrying for the money only?

So I was right? He's cheating on her, she's cheating on him, and it's one big "secret adultery party" at the table. They talk about neighborhoods going commercial, Sri Lanka massacres, and world injustices like "women deserving rights with traditionalist values." This is supposed to be about the rich being a bunch of ass-backwards, all-talk-only, hypocritical, dead-inside, self-righteous, dick-waving assholes, right? That's the only way this makes sense. Speaking of making sense, his rant wasn't suppose to make a lot of sense, right? It felt like when a "debate" goes to buzzwording and fancy-talking instead of talking like a normal person with common words. He read that like it was a newspaper article, or blog post, or something, not dinner conversation.

[deadpan] "Patrick... How thought-provoking." SAME.


Oh, now he's following a woman on the street. And now there's red stuff on white cloth that can't seem to be washed out at a cleaner's. And he's being a jackass to the Chinese cleaning lady. We're stuck with this asshole a whole movie, oh my god. "It's cranberry, cranapple." Sure, Jan. And he throws his problems at a random woman he knows. So much for "woman's rights," eh Bob? Calling his mistress while watching porn, then calling Dorsia for a reservation, just to be laughed down the line. Courtney, the mistress, is so doped up she can't even sit up right. I kind of feel bad for her, but we never dwell on her long enough. All she wants is children and fine-dining and someone to feed her meds she probably doesn't have a prescription for. Is that too much to ask?

Now we talk about how Pat keeps getting mixed up with another person in his department, but like... They all look the same? And I think that's the point? Same barber, same suits, same glasses, same job, same white face. "But I have the better haircut." The card-comparison scene. What to say? The modern-day dick-measuring contests between Rich White Business men. Delightful. I'm just disappointed they also didn't compare the card carrying cases as well. The way the card pops out, or cradled, or neatly just the Right Size.

After Patrick's breakdown of not being a "good enough man," he harasses a homeless man. And then kills him and his dog. Thanks, Pat. Fixing that homeless problem, I see. One murder at a time. If it even did happen. "I have all the characteristics of a human being... but not a single emotion, save for disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me." And now it's time for a therapist, right? No? Just a day spa where woman compliment your skin? Ok. Just saying, he has a HUGE amount of money, but let's not self-improve in meaningful ways like self-searching in a therapist's chair. No, let's compare dicks/cards and be a jerk to his fiancee at a shitty Christmas party.

Pat tricks Allen into meeting him as a not-so-fancy restaurant. Allen keeps mentioning sarcastically "Real HOT, Marcus, real HAPPENING place!" Pat tries to name-drop and play the usual slimy shtick, but it doesn't seem to work. Allen, not knowing he's talking to Pat, mentions how much of a loser Pat is. Pat has that beautiful dead-eyed look of Tom Cruise and it is gorgeous. (And I know he based his performance off Cruise. He NAILED it!) Pat takes a drunk Allen back to his place to jerk-off about Huey Lewis and the News. Allen is so drunk he barely notices the taped-down newspapers around his chair until AXE MURDER TIME! Pat goes a few swings and then stops for a cigar.

SO much to talk about. The tepid music lecture that he vomits. The greyscale art of random people hiding their faces. The fact we never see Allen's wounds after the attack. The first time we see Pat energetic, and it's when he's killing. The blood trail disappearing between cuts. A lot points to this being in his mind. He never tells his inner thoughts (like music taste) except to the viewers. However, he gets caught in the street with a large overnight bag that no one questions (except brand), so what else could it be?

Pat walks into Allen's apt, and is panicked at the fact it's way nicer. He packs some of Allen's clothes, tapes over the voicemail machine, and leaves. Cut to his secretary in a skirt walking in on his important music time--I mean, work. Allen has gone missing. Pat is getting pushy about drinks and I think trying to show off to the detective? It works, because the detective talks a lot more about the case than he really should have. (Mentioning Cliff Huxtable as a lunch date was clever. ) I feel like I'm missing something with the scene, like a thing I'm too neurodivergent to understand, maybe.

Either way, he's now watching a slasher flick while working out and eating "exotic" fruits. His life doesn't seem to have gotten better with his "outburst." He calls in for another escort/worker while the girl he picked off the street heads back with him to "his" apt. "My name's Paul Allen." A cover, perhaps? Or another killing? Oh, and he can't stress a "blonde" escort enough. His fiancee is blonde... Coincidence??? God, he is controlling both girl's choices and movements. He gives new names to them, chastises their looks, and immediately asks if they want to know about his job. "No. Not really." Tells them anyway. One tries to talk about the apt. "None of your business." More music opinions.... Shit, they're gonna die, aren't they?

I love how he listens to all these songs (Invisible Touch, In Too Deep, Land of Confusion) and I just have to say "WOW". He listens to these songs about love, worldly injustice, and monogamy. "CHANGE THE WORLD FOR LOVE," the music says. "Nah, I'm good," he retorts. These women look so bored. Just keep an eye on the paychecks. He can't even keep it up without flexing in the mirror. I can hear his thoughts now. "Are you proud of me, daddy? Am I a good enough man for you now? AM I MAN ENOUGH NOW?" Wire hanger in hand, tools out of a drawer, "We're not done yet," and then hands out huge cash amounts as they leave. Are... Are they ok? Did he do illegal abortions on them? Experiments? I put nothing past him!

A whole scene of "Fuck Women" followed by card-wagging again. Nothing's changed in his life. He tries to "kill" the better-card guy in the restroom, just to find out he's gay. Pat reacts with violent disgust to the point of calling off the murder right then. Chalk it up to homophobia? Maybe. To internal fear of being gay himself? Eh? Personally, I like the idea that Pat witnessed a man do something so outside of his understanding (kiss a hand reached out to kill) that Pat had to back out and go back to something normal and scripted. Now the detective has returned for more questions. Pat can't tell the truth and the detective might be onto him??? The detective brings up Huey and the News.

Detective: "Have you heard it?"

Pat: "No, they're too black-sounding for me."

Not a single goddamned truth. This doesn't feel like reality anymore. It's too off-script from Pat's usual day-to-day in a way that reads almost like having an argument in your head that you win, but also with all the possible things that could go wrong now going wrong. Like a fantasy that's gone too far? He fucked his mistress, gave her a plush, and notices for the first time she smokes. She mentions him calling her. "If I don't talk to you before Easter, have a nice one." Courtney might need someone to keep her alive. That screamed of suicide on Easter. Am I alone on this?

In a club, Pat's coworker mentions "If you can catch AIDS through sex, you can catch anything!" Can he be stabbed? Oh wait, Pat's a better man than he is, so Pat keeps him around to feel better about himself. Ew. Also, I noticed a lot more dancing men in the club than the previous scenes, and his friend is talking about "the Gay Disease" rather randomly. Are we noticing more of the world that he's noticing? Is he questioning his sexuality, thus noticing more sexy men? Questions. Coworker is on steroids AND coke?

Pat picks up a really dull and dim girl at the club. "There's something sweet about you." And next scene, he has some of her hair and a crossword with "BONE" and "MEAT" written all over as the answers. Good Signs!! More not-work he's doing... and now asking his secretary out for dinner. "Anywhere you want!" "How about... Dorsia?" I respect that. Pat isn't looking so happy, though. Still, he fakes a booking (as he never gets into Dorsia I hear) and gets her to go to his place for the night. "Sorbet?" he asks, trying to not look at the FROZEN HEAD!

She's secretly sniping all his insecurities (being fit, needing help with crosswords, lack of willpower) and I love it. Also, just noticed he has a state-of-the-art kitchen, but never cooks a single meal there. I only notice it because he's fingering his knives while listening to her life's dreams. AND HE HAS A CABINET FULL OF YARD TOOLS. No reason to have them, cause no yard, so... MURDER TOOL CLOSET. YAY.

Secretary: "I want to develop and grow as a person."


Secretary: "...Who's Ted Bundy?"

I don't know if this is hilarious, sad, or just terrifying. This scene solidifies it: Pat is That Guy. You know, THAT Guy. Farther into serial killers and music than he needs to be, and won't shut up about how the world needs to change. But not him! He's fine, right? So long as he can treat women like filth and say slurs, he's fine! "Have you ever wanted to make someone happy?" And he never answers the question with a yes, so that's a NO. Terrifying. A call arrives from his fiancee during his date. She's now uncomfortable, saying this is going to end bad. Pat insists she stays, but she heads out anyway.

Lunch with Detective. Pat is obviously pinning this on Marcus. Yet, Marcus gave him an alibi. The detective mentions a friend killing another in cold blood is highly unlikely, right? Pat can't answer him. Pat goes back to Christie, the street-worker. She is adamant on not going with him as ER bills are too high. Yet, she gets in the limo because of money. Pat says they're going to a new apt with "Elizabeth." Prediction: NOW they're getting murdered in Allen's apt. Had a feeling, was never sure.

Elizabeth is a RAMBLER. Going on and on, until it's about a guy who disappeared from Pat's work. Pat talks about how the girls should kiss, but once they actually do, he monologues about Whitney Houston albums instead of what most guys would do: Join, watch, or get out. Even when one of them is openly MOCKING his music choices, he still prattles on! "This song is about how it's not too late to better ourselves." TAKE A HINT, PATTY-CAKE.

Christie sees the sheets and Pat's mouth covered in blood. She runs, but gets into a closet with two hanging dead women, and then rooms full of other bodies. Okay, I think this scene is real, or a bad dream. She kicks his face and runs out of the apt, beating on every door she can find while screaming. I noticed how eerily he's copying Texas Chainsaw Massacre (biting people, chasing a girl with a chainsaw) while in the role of the killer himself. And also how he filmed his own porno.

This character, Patrick, feels like a very stereotypical example of a movie sociopath. The lack of empathy, sympathy, and allegedly even his emotions are gone. He lies often, can't admit when he's wrong, and even has the fun little stereotype of being a killer... Maybe.

Christie is dead via chainsaw in the back. He doodles this scene in a nice restaurant, right before admitting he kills constantly and breaks up with his fiancee. If I seem blase about it, it's because the movie treats it the same. Like admitting murder is better than breaking up. OK, THE CAT IS OK. ATM was telling Pat to feed it a stray cat, but sweet old lady took the bullet instead! He runs from the cops, who then corner him with weapons drawn. A shoot-out occurs! He blows up the cars with just a hand gun and runs away. After killing two workers, he goes to his own and... signs in with the doorman he killed earlier. Or maybe it's his work he's at now, IDK. I can't tell. Helicopters might be looking for him either way, as he looks from his office window.

He calls his lawyer and mentions he killed 20-40 people and maybe tried to cook their brains. He says he's a sick guy and to get back with him at Harry's Bar. I'm... Huh. Well, either he's telling the truth, telling more lies, or BELIEVES he's telling the truth. We'll see? He cleans up in the morning, gets dressed, and heads for Allen's place. It's clean and is being sold. Rooms are white and clear of bodies. He was certain this is Allen's apt, but the realtor says no and gets him out peacefully. He calls into work, worrying his secretary.

Was this all in his head? Even Allen's apt visits? Did those girls even exist? Jean found some disturbing doodles of his, so not all stayed in his head. His lawyer laughs off his message from earlier, calling it hilarious. Then again, the lawyer doesn't even recognize Pat's face. The lawyer admitted to having seen Allen ten days ago. Can we trust that? He didn't recognize Pat. Secretary is still going through the planner and seeing a lot of drawn violence towards women. Did he imagine those scenes, or take from real life? He talks about how he did hurt people, but also how he's in constant pain and how he wants it inflicted on others.

"But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to elude me... My confession has meant nothing."

So he admits to wasting our time??? I don't think he did anything. Envisioned, imagined, and fantasized, yes, but I don't think he did anything. He believes himself "insane" but I think it's something a therapist can help. Pat is an edgelord looking for attention and a break from boredom/privilege. I'm not saying he's a good person, nor am I saying he's harmless. He is still an apathetic person who's only afraid of consequences instead of morality. I just don't see the evidence pointing to "yep, he killed a LOT" like Pat says he did.

Also, I would like to point out the fiancee was a-ok, just out of a relationship. I expected dead.

Also also, I called it on the rich being absolutely hypocritical and horrible people all-around. I like a movie that can flex anti-capitalist.

Well, I think that's the end of this thread. Hopefully another live-tweet will happen in the near future. We'll just have to see!

6/10, but maybe rewatch with a pause button and notes to see how deep his rabbit hole really goes.


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