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Will someone please explain the end of American Psycho to me [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Will someone please explain the end of American Psycho to me


chaz k
09-22-07, 08:48 PM
Just watched it for the first time....Loved it but totally -confused- -confused- about the ending.....

PopcornTreeCt
09-22-07, 08:52 PM
It's all in his head.

DarthVong
09-22-07, 09:15 PM
It's all in his head.

That's one answer, the other is that it wasn't in his head. It's left open for the viewer to determine. Much like the ending of Total Recall.

chris_sc77
09-22-07, 09:18 PM
It's open to your own interpretation. The book is the same way. I used to think it was all in his head but after reading the book twice and seeing the film a few times i still can't make up my mind but probably would lean toward the reasoning that he did do these crimes and people.
How is this possible? Well, the poeple that say they have seen the people that Patrick Bateman has killed after he has killed them are not reliable because everyone througout the film has no idea who anyone else is and confuses people with other people with no idea that they are doing this. This is because everyone is the same in this world of theirs and they really can't tell the diference between the associates they work with.
Then there is the scene where he goes to the apartment (i believe it is Paul Allen's apartment ) where he hides his bodies of people he has killed and realizes it is clean and in the process of being shown to prspective buyers by the realator/landlord.
This is a confusing scene but you can look at it as prrof tht it was all in his head or you can look at it as it was cleaned up without much fuss somehhow by the realator/landlord so she could still get money out of the place and that is why no one does live their.
SO, again, it is open to interpretation I guess. It's all how you look at it.

Amel
09-23-07, 06:28 AM
Then there is the scene where he goes to the apartment (i believe it is Paul Allen's apartment ) where he hides his bodies of people he has killed and realizes it is clean and in the process of being shown to prspective buyers by the realator/landlord.
This is a confusing scene but you can look at it as prrof tht it was all in his head or you can look at it as it was cleaned up without much fuss somehhow by the realator/landlord so she could still get money out of the place and that is why no one does live their.

Or, it's not the same the apartment. He already ran into the wrong office building the night before. Everything and everyone, except for their business cards :), is seemingly homogenous which helps lead to his insanity.

As for the ending, it can go either way. When I discuss it, I present ideas for both possibilities. But with AP, that's not what's really important.

fmian
09-23-07, 06:58 AM
I'll tend to say it's in his head. The single point in the film at which the audience and indeed Bateman himself realises this is when he shoots the cop car and it explodes, followed by the 'What the fuck?!??' look on Batemans face while looking at the gun.

It's in his head. Every other answer is way too far fetched.

A similar concept is explored in 'The Rules of Attraction' with the movie full of characters who are in love with and have relationships with one another, when in reality these characters are so introverted they don't realise the relationships don't exist or that they are in love with someone they don't even know.

It's all about the human psyche and how even the smallest shift in perspective can make something seem drastically different because you were initially only seeing or hearing what you wanted to see or hear.

Man, I could talk for hours about this shit, nevermind that I'm probably just making it all up.

JZ1276
09-23-07, 07:04 AM
i've seen this movie about 5 times and still dont get it. OK so it's in his head or it is but didnt the lawyer call him by a different name other than Patrick Bateman at the end when he called him up ?
Thats what i dont get.

Drop
09-23-07, 10:42 AM
He's insane, so things aren't going to make full sense, whether it all happened or not. Plus it's a satire of 80s excess and selfishness, so no one really cares about anyone else.

Personally I think it's all in his head, in both the film and the book.

Groucho
09-23-07, 10:45 AM
i've seen this movie about 5 times and still dont get it. OK so it's in his head or it is but didnt the lawyer call him by a different name other than Patrick Bateman at the end when he called him up ?
Thats what i dont get.In brief: one of the central themes of the book (and the movie) is that all of these 80's yuppie types are indistinguishable. In order to be extraordinary and stand out, Bateman becomes a serial killer -- but it's all for nothing because he continues to get mistaken for other yuppies.

PopcornTreeCt
09-23-07, 11:42 AM
I'll tend to say it's in his head. The single point in the film at which the audience and indeed Bateman himself realises this is when he shoots the cop car and it explodes, followed by the 'What the fuck?!??' look on Batemans face while looking at the gun.


Yeah, that's when I think the movie gives it away along with the scene before it where the ATM tells him to feed it the cat.

duluthdemon
09-23-07, 01:37 PM
That's one answer, the other is that it wasn't in his head. It's left open for the viewer to determine. Much like the ending of Total Recall.


In the Recall DVD commentary, they pretty much confirm it was all in mind of Arnold's character (name escapes me).

SuckaMC
09-23-07, 01:49 PM
I believe that he did kill all those people, and that the irony is that he is the only one who is paying enough attention to notice it. Everyone else is so superficial and acting like they know all these people that they don't really know anyone. So yes, I think he did kill all those people.

TheNightFlier
09-23-07, 04:42 PM
I think it was all in his head.

RichC2
09-23-07, 05:01 PM
It was all in his head, imho. The mistaken identities make it a little vague but in the end, it seemed pretty much solidified.

That is, until American Psycho 2 came out.

xage
09-23-07, 05:09 PM
I think the movie was that damn good to create such a topic like this which resulted to an argument

Was it all true? or Was it all in his head?

starseed1981
09-23-07, 06:59 PM
I've been a fan of the book and movie for ages now. I've always believed that it was all in his head. A commentary on the human condition being prone to violence.

Drop
09-23-07, 08:33 PM
In the Recall DVD commentary, they pretty much confirm it was all in mind of Arnold's character (name escapes me).

That's Verhoeven's opinion, the audience (and Arnold) are free to disagree. That's the beauty of art.

DeputyDave
09-24-07, 12:11 AM
I've argued this several times with one of my movie going friends. For me the give away (besides the cop shooting) was that he dragged the huge duffle bag across the loby while leaving a wide trail of blood. He dragged it right past the security guard (or doorman, whatever he was) and the obvious blood trail was not seen.

SterlingBen
09-24-07, 02:23 AM
You need to read the book, it makes the movie look like its for kids

Superboy
09-24-07, 02:40 AM
From IMDB:

In each scene with Detective Donald Kimble (Willem Defoe), Mary Harron asked Defoe to portray his character three different ways: 1) Kimble knew Patrick Bateman killed Paul Allen, 2) Kimble didn't know Bateman killed Allen, and 3) Kimble wasn't sure if Bateman killed Allen. Harron would then edit the takes together, giving the audience an unsure vibe of what Detective Kimble thought of Bateman.

The whole movie isn't necessarily open to interpretation, so much as intentionally confusing.

MasterofDVD
09-24-07, 03:02 AM
I never really cared much for American Psycho but after just these few posts I really would like to follow this thread for a bit and then watch the movie again. I think I would appreciate and enjoy it more.

Amel
09-24-07, 09:31 AM
Yeah, that's when I think the movie gives it away along with the scene before it where the ATM tells him to feed it the cat.
That's what Bateman sees. The guy's clearly unhinged. Scenes like that are from his point of view - not necessarily what actually is happening - Bateman thinks the ATM tells him to feed it the cat.
I've argued this several times with one of my movie going friends. For me the give away (besides the cop shooting) was that he dragged the huge duffle bag across the loby while leaving a wide trail of blood. He dragged it right past the security guard (or doorman, whatever he was) and the obvious blood trail was not seen.
It's late at night, the doorman barely looks up and when he does all he sees is a quick glimpse of another yuppie scumbag walking by without so much as a headnod, he immediately goes back to reading his book/paper. It then goes to Bateman putting the bagged body into the back of a taxi when a friend sees him and is totally consumed with jealousy over Patrick's designer overnight bag. That blood trail could go unoticed for hours.

For me, the only scene I can think of that truly pushes the "all in his head" theory is when he's naked, except for hightops, chasing the prostitute, also naked, through the apartment building with the chainsaw. The hooker is banging on doors and screaming her head off, chainsaws are extremely loud, but no one hears?

But, then again, Patrick goes back to what he thinks is same apartment and everything's completely clean and a realtor is in the middle of showing it to a couple. Maybe the entire building is new and no one has moved in yet.

Parcher
09-24-07, 10:47 AM
I laugh when people argue "it's DEFINITELY all in his head" or argue "it's DEFINITELY not in his head"...

It's open to interpretation :) We don't know.

Great movie - awesome book. Have read it 3 times. Apart from the gore details, it's quite a funny book (and movie) too.

"JUST...SAY...NO!"

slop101
09-24-07, 10:55 AM
At first, I thought all the murdering was all in his head. But after seeing it a few more times, along with some discussions with friends, and most importantly, an interview with the director in which she says how Bateman actually committed the murders, I think the only thing in his head was the scene with the ATM and when he's running away from the cops and shooting and exploding the cop car - everything else happened.

The whole movie is about identity, or lack of one - especially in the setting (era/environment). These people don't know who they are themselves, so it should come as little surprise when other people don't know others. Like how at the end, someone mistook Bateman for someone else, or how someone is mistaking Paul Allen for someone that's in London. Another theme is no wanting to face reality, like the real estate agent cleaning up the blood, or the lawyer not wanting to face facts, etc.

All I'm saying is that the movie's a lot more complicated that if it was all in his head or not.

Randy Miller III
09-24-07, 10:55 AM
In the new audio commentary on the "Killer Collector's Edition", director Mary Harron professes her opinion that the murders were real. I'm with most of you guys in thinking that they're all in Bateman's head, but there really isn't a clear answer either way. The film is much more effective this way. :up:

DVD Josh
09-24-07, 10:57 AM
I've always thought that some of them were real and some of them were not real, much for the same reason yuppies cannot be determined from one another.

Drop
09-24-07, 11:10 AM
In the new audio commentary on the "Killer Collector's Edition", director Mary Harron professes her opinion that the murders were real. I'm with most of you guys in thinking that they're all in Bateman's head, but there really isn't a clear answer either way. The film is much more effective this way.

I wouldn't listen to her either, I don't think she did that good of a job adapting the book, anyway. The films enjoyable because of the actors involved, I thought it was mediocre otherwise, and didn't feel nearly as depraved and crazy as the book.

DVD Josh
09-24-07, 11:13 AM
I wouldn't listen to her either, I don't think she did that good of a job adapting the book, anyway. The films enjoyable because of the actors involved, I thought it was mediocre otherwise, and didn't feel nearly as depraved and crazy as the book.

Didn't the first cut of the movie get an x or nc-17? I think she may have been hamstrung to get the R she was eventually able to get.

rabbit77
09-24-07, 01:55 PM
According to imdb:
Director Mary Harron had to edit the two following scenes (which are available on the DVD Killer Edition) in order to receive an R-rating:
The word "asshole" in the line, "Christy, bend over so Sabrina can see your asshole," was changed to just "ass".
The threesome during the same scene was trimmed several seconds.


Not surprising that it was the sex that the MPAA was more concerned about.

Mopower
09-24-07, 03:04 PM
This movie would be a real disappointment if the killings really took place.

rennervision
09-24-07, 04:13 PM
It's obvious to me it's in his head when one minute he's chasing someone with a chainsaw and the next minute he's doodling the scene on a sheet of paper.

Luther Heggs
09-24-07, 04:14 PM
Years ago in a magazine interview, co-screenwriter (and actress) Guinivere Turner said, "When we wrote the script, we wanted it to be absolutely clear that he is actually killing people...And that's not what people are coming away with. They think it's all a dream, or all a fantasy. I was doing a roundtable discussion with a bunch of journalists, and this guy's first question was, 'So did he do it or didn't he?' And I said he was really doing it, so he turns to the woman next to him and says, 'See?'"
The great thing about the film American Psycho (as opposed to the book) is that by the time it ends the film is almost a "lady or the tiger" conundrum. How you interpret it depends on what presuppositions you bring to it. After first seeing it theatrically, I thought the intent of the film was obvious. The "I got mine, screw you" culture of the '80s(an amped-up and absurd version of the '80s, where a restaurant menu could be stamped in braille on stainless steel) was in essence doing Bateman's clean up work for him and no matter what unspeakable acts he could commit he'd never face any real consequences, much like Robert Chambers in '86. But I like hearing the interpretations of those who see it otherwise.

chanster
09-24-07, 04:36 PM
I thought he did them - the point was that society cleaned up his mess...in that sense he is ultimate expression of that society.

I guess the reaction of the real estate agent was probably the biggest clue that it was real, but who knows. Its an interesting movie to see every few years

There are some scenes, however, that I do think are in Bateman's head. The ATM, the action movie shootout, those all things he probably was imagining. But I think the murders actually took place within the context of the movie.

PopcornTreeCt
09-24-07, 06:26 PM
Has Brett Easton Ellis ever addressed the question?

Ginwen
09-24-07, 08:55 PM
Just about every time I watch it I change my mind about whether it's real or not. Currently at not real, but that's subject to change.

islandclaws
09-25-07, 11:50 AM
Has Brett Easton Ellis ever addressed the question?

IIRC I read an interview with Ellis where he explicity stated that the murders were in Bateman's head and he didn't actually do any killing. I think you can make a valid arguement for either side, but personally I've always felt that everything was in his head and these were his delusional fanatasies to escape from the monotony of his daily life.