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Will someone please explain the end of American Psycho to me

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Will someone please explain the end of American Psycho to me

Old 09-22-07, 08:48 PM
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Will someone please explain the end of American Psycho to me

Just watched it for the first time....Loved it but totally about the ending.....
Old 09-22-07, 08:52 PM
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It's all in his head.
Old 09-22-07, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
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.
Old 09-22-07, 09:18 PM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chris_sc77
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.
Old 09-23-07, 06:58 AM
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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.

Last edited by fmian; 09-23-07 at 07:04 AM.
Old 09-23-07, 07:04 AM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 10:42 AM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JZ1276
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.
Old 09-23-07, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fmian
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.
Old 09-23-07, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthVong
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).
Old 09-23-07, 01:49 PM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 04:42 PM
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I think it was all in his head.
Old 09-23-07, 05:01 PM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 05:09 PM
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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?
Old 09-23-07, 06:59 PM
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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.
Old 09-23-07, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by duluthdemon
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.
Old 09-24-07, 12:11 AM
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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.
Old 09-24-07, 02:23 AM
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You need to read the book, it makes the movie look like its for kids
Old 09-24-07, 02:40 AM
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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.
Old 09-24-07, 03:02 AM
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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.
Old 09-24-07, 09:31 AM
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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.
Old 09-24-07, 10:47 AM
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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!"
Old 09-24-07, 10:55 AM
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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.
Old 09-24-07, 10:55 AM
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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.

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