American Psycho Ending Explained, Is Patrick Bateman’s Head All That Mattered in the End?


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Prior to photography even beginning on “American Psycho,” Mary Harron’s 2000 adaptation of the notorious Bret Easton Ellis novel had already become embroiled in a firestorm of controversy. Many people assumed that the film adaptation of Ellis’ novel would be something like to a snuff film because it was so graphically violent and laden with misogynistic tropes. However, Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner delivered something very different — a darkly comedic, only sometimes violent film that took the main spirit of Ellis’ book and transformed it into something entirely different from what it was originally. Some people have even stated that there is something better than the book itself.

Despite the fact that the film “American Psycho” has been researched and dissected for many years, there are still some who are not fully certain about the film’s conclusion. That was done on purpose: the conclusion is unclear enough that it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. If you still have questions, I am available to provide you with some answers – as soon as I have these videotapes back.

American Psycho Short Summary

It’s called “American Psycho,” and it’s about Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker in New York City in the 1980s. Bale plays him. By night, he’s himbo, which means he’s a very attractive guy who also doesn’t know a lot of things. During the day, he is an evil serial killer. In the book, he also kills a child at the zoo, but that didn’t make it into the movie. A few months in the life of Bateman are shown in the movie. We get a glimpse into his pointless, bloody life. The only thing that shows the character is how he treats his secretary Jean (Chlo Sevigny). It’s clear that Jean is very much in love with Patrick. Even though Patrick isn’t capable of love, he does end up saving Jean’s life after coming very close to ending hers (with a nail gun).

Among the many people that Bateman kills is Paul Allen (Jared Leto), who Bateman hates as a co-worker. The body of Allen is killed by Bateman with an ax in Allen’s apartment. Bateman leaves the body where it was found. Later, he kills more people and leaves their bodies in the apartment. As the movie goes on, Bateman gets crazier and crazier. At one point, he calls his lawyer and confesses to all of his crimes. It’s too late to clean up the crime scene after Bateman made a mistake. He decides to go back to Allen’s apartment and do that before it’s too late. But Bateman’s apartment isn’t the bloody mess that he left it when he moved out of it. Instead, it’s been cleaned to the point of perfection, and it’s now on the market for sale. In the movie, the relator is there, and she looks like she’s either afraid or angry at Bateman.

The bottom line is that she doesn’t like Bateman and she seems to know more than she’s letting on. How did Bateman know that the dead bodies he left in his apartment were gone? He meets the lawyer he told by phone not long after this. She doesn’t even know who he is. He tries to explain, but the lawyer doesn’t even know him. No one recognizes anyone in the movie or book. This is more of a running theme than it is in the movie, though. Everyone is so dumb and so high that they don’t notice anything. Also, the lawyer thinks Paul Allen isn’t dead, because he just had lunch with him in London. Bateman is understandably a little confused. Jean also finds Bateman’s journal at his office. It’s full of gruesome drawings of his victims that he has made.

American Psycho Cast
American Psycho Cast

American Psycho Cast 

  • Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
  • Willem Dafoe as Detective Donald Kimball
  • Jared Leto as Paul Allen
  • Josh Lucas as Craig McDermott
  • Samantha Mathis as Courtney Rawlinson
  • Matt Ross as Luis Carruthers
  • Bill Sage as David Van Patten
  • Chloë Sevigny as Jean
  • Cara Seymour as Christie
  • Justin Theroux as Timothy Bryce
  • Guinevere Turner as Elizabeth
  • Reese Witherspoon as Evelyn Williams

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American Psycho Ending Explained

Make sense of this ending: I think one interpretation is better than the other in this case, even though I don’t think either one is “wrong.” When the movie first came out, I heard a lot of people say that most of the movie was in Bateman’s head. This is a reasonable conclusion, even if Bateman isn’t a killer. Bateman is clearly mentally ill, so it’s not a stretch to think he made up everything that happened here. This makes people think the movie was just a dream. Paul Allen’s apartment had been cleaned up and there was no talk about the dead bodies Bateman supposedly left behind. The drawings in Bateman’s book also make people think the movie was a dream.

He didn’t really kill anyone, this theory claims. He just thought about it, and these drawings are his way of making his dreams come to life. Some people use a scene in which Bateman shoots a cop car and the car explodes, which makes Bateman look at his gun, confused. This is another reason why people believe this. You can’t shoot a car and make it explode in real life. That only happens in movies.

That’s fine! I don’t think there’s really a bad answer. If that’s not clear enough for you, I’ll try to help you understand: The way I see it, Bateman really did kill all those people, and he did it. Those actions weren’t all in his head. They were real, and he did them. What about Paul Allen? There’s a reason for that, and it makes the whole thing even more disturbing. There were dead bodies in that apartment after all. That’s not the case, though. The apartment is such a good deal in New York that the owner of the building tried to keep it quiet, get rid of the bodies, and try to rent it out without anyone else realizing.

They also agree with this. Somehow. “To me and Mary, the book left it up in the air, too, what was real and what was not real,” said co-writer Guinevere Turner. “We didn’t think that everything was real because some of it is literally surreal. But we just decided, together, that we both really disliked movies where the big reveal is that it was all in someone’s head or it was all a dream.”  Asked if the whole movie was in Bateman’s head, Mary Harron said that it was. “I would never answer that. As Quentin Tarantino says, ‘If I tell you that, I take this movie away from you.’ I will say there’s a moment where it becomes less realistic, and that’s the moment when the ATM says Feed Me a Stray Cat.”

“One thing I think is a failure on my part is people keep coming out of the film thinking that it’s all a dream, and I never intended that. All I wanted was to be ambiguous in the way that the book was. I think it’s a failure of mine in the final scene because I just got the emphasis wrong. I should have left it more open-ended. It makes it look like it was all in his head, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s not.”

Govind Dhiman
Govind Dhiman
Govind Dhiman is a young and passionate entrepreneur who hails from Haryana, India. He founded to help journalists in the world of journalism grow their presence and amplify their voice on social media. Govind believes that content marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to establish themselves as authorities in their niche market space by publishing quality content on a consistent basis with an eye towards key metrics like engagement and shares.


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