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There are many misconceptions about the horror book and movie adaptation of American Psycho (Opinion)

Patrick Bateman is not an alpha male, he’s just a blood-thirsty serial killer.
Isabella Pacotti
The killer in American phycho is not man to look up to at all.

American Psycho (2000) takes place in 1987, in New York City. The movie follows Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street Investment banker who lives another life as a horrific serial killer. The movie shows Bateman’s fall into madness.

American Psycho is my favorite movie. The twists and turns in this movie are what make it so perfect. It was so well put together and is perfect for when you need a good scare. American Psycho makes you genuinely think and leaves you speechless.

In recent years the image of Patrick Bateman has been the face of a new toxic masculinity movement. This ‘alpha male’ trend entirely focuses on being an intelligent, successful, and confident man. The movement, based on animal instincts, has had many faces of it. From Andrew Tate to the Homelander from the TV show ‘The Boys.’, these men are normally controversial and have misogynistic views. The image of Patrick Bateman is a strong independent man who has no empathy for women and the less fortunate.

The rest of this review contains a few small movie spoilers. Reader discretion is advised.

This movement has completely misinterpreted the meaning of the movie American Psycho. Patrick Bateman was created as a metaphor for corporate greed. This is clear in most of the killings in the movie. When Bateman finds out his coworker Paul Allen has control over the account he wants, Bateman takes him to dinner, and later brutally kills him.

The killing of Paul Allen shows the violent capitalist ideals that Bateman would do anything to get ahead. He brutally took a life just to get rid of the competition that was preventing him from success. Many of these killings display a dark capitalist side of Patrick Bateman, against the homeless, prostitues, and minorities.

While the main theme of American Psycho is the violent side of capitalism, the movie also has some undertones making fun of toxic masculinity.

Through the book and movie, Patrick Bateman is portrayed as a strong man who has his life together. He has a skincare routine, women all over him, and he’s economically successful. His life is a dream for men.

Despite this well-established image it is fragile and easily taken down when another man hits on him. Patrick’s coworker, Luis Carruthers, kisses Patrick’s hand while Patrick attempts to kill Luis.

This makes Patrick spiral, he abruptly washes his hands and leaves with a flushed face. This simple kiss shifted his perception of his masculinity. The image of a strong man destroyed by a kiss isn’t an example of the ideal man that you admire.

The point of the movie was to show Patrick Bateman’s being consumed into madness. American Psycho also follows Patrick’s moral awakening.

In the movie, it shows how Bateman’s bloodlust has started to grow within his days. His two personalities begin to collapse and combine. You see Patrick Bateman at his weakest moments. He begins to realize the person he has become. He reflects on his actions and personality.

What will happen when he gets arrested and no one believes him? If they think he is lying and making it up? That he is joking? It’s driving him insane that no one believes him.

The purpose of the movie is to view this man’s world fall apart. When put into perspective, his entire life is crumbling so clearly this isn’t a desired life for yourself. That being said, how could you look up to someone whose entire world fell apart and sank into madness? How could you look up to a madman?

The main issue with this movement is the glorification of killers, criminals, and madmen. Patrick Bateman is a vicious serial killer who prays for the less fortunate. Bateman had looked down upon and insulted African Americans and LGBT community members. Many times in the books referring to these minorities as slurs, talking about how repulsive these groups are.

Bateman had harmful ideals that shouldn’t be spread. He preyed on people who couldn’t protect themselves. And a lot of these ideals carry through with other faces of this movement.

Andrew Tate is a large part of the movement and a very controversial figure. He is a former competitive kickboxer turned influencer. Andrew Tate was arrested in 2023 and had a court hearing in June on the accusations of human trafficking and rape in Romania. Currently, there hasn’t been a clear guilty verdict yet.

Nevertheless, a man charged with such heinous crimes isn’t an acceptable role model that younger men should look up to. This movement has taken toxic masculinity to the extreme and misinterpreted some of the best movies created. American Psycho is a satirical film about corporate greed not about a strong man.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Pacotti
Isabella Pacotti is a sophomore. She enjoys skateboarding, drawing, painting, and reading. She is involved with orchestra and theatre. She is looking forward to writing articles for The Mav this year.
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