Mr. Jason Raush
Lit. of Extreme Situations
8 April 2013
American Psycho Novel and Movie Comparison
After the release of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, and the critical response that soon followed, many would believe that a film version of such a creatively gruesome novel would be an impossible task to undertake. The extended seemingly endless descriptions, stream of conscious narrative, countless scenes of grotesque violence, and not to mention a literary ban in both Germany and Australia are just a few reasons why so many believed a movie could never exist. However in the spring of 2000, director Mary Harron defied the odds and transformed this controversial work from hardcover to the big screen. Remarkably a huge success, the film captures the weaving, often-satirical, themes of the book, while staying true to the not so hidden horrors of a 1980’s New York yuppie turned serial killer Patrick Bateman. Where the book gave readers the eyes and insight of a warped Patrick Bateman, the movie displayed a more outward perspective, balancing the darkly comical with hints of insanity that built toward the unraveling of this American Psycho. Some may argue that serial killers are born with the inevitable urge to murder, while others believe these actions are a direct result of environmental culturing. The character of Patrick Bateman would justly cause anyone to question this notion. In the film, Mr. Batman, ingeniously portrayed by Christian Bale, begins the film with a seemingly levelheaded temperament. This illusion is short lived however and is broken when a scene, mirroring that of the second chapter of the book, shows Bateman’s obsessively thorough morning routine. The film quite accurately depicts the various products and processes that were read as lists upon lists of description within the novel. Another point in which Mary Harron illustrates the maddening obsessive tendencies of Bateman occurs during the often one-sided...