American Psycho (2000) Ending Explained – Does Bateman actually murder all those people?

American Psycho (2000) Plot Synopsis

American Psycho is a psychological suspense movie that prompts equal proportions of dread and laughter. The book by Bret Easton Ellis with the same title served as the inspiration for the movie, which is an edgy mockery of American values and ethics.

Stars like Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Samantha Mathis, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon are among the movie’s impressive cast. A visual psychological war can be seen throughout the movie which is an enjoyable one to witness.

There are many memorable moments in the movie including the character’s passion for music, his frequent justification for returning video recordings, as well as his running commentary, which gives it the cult following it absolutely deserves.

The satire in this movie is top-notch. Additionally, it is horrifying, violent, and nauseating. The movie captures the societal demands placed on fortune and precision in the 1980s. It is evidently accomplished with a unique exploration of what motivates and ultimately destroys us. So how does this one end? Let’s take a closer look:


Which themes run through the movie?

The American Dream and that style of thinking has served as an operating ideal for an overwhelming number of individuals. These folks have devoted their entire lives to pursuing that fantasy.

Like any other self-serving framework, some people have succeeded, while others have failed to do so. However, if there is profitability, or more specifically, the appearance of growth, there will inevitably be opposition. What smarter way to convey this than using the most widely available artistic medium, movies.

After being glorified for generations, the great American dream was deconstructed and shattered in movies from the 1990’s in particular. In conclusion, the notion that unites the entirety of this is the rejection of the illusionary, the superficial, and an acknowledgment of the contemporary age’s acceptance of the ordinary. American Psycho brilliantly exemplifies this theme.

The movie makes an interesting choice by showing the theme from an insider’s perspective, an individual who is knee-deep in the firm and working hard to achieve his dream. The psychological thriller adopts a resolute, silent style of subtle satire, frequently tangled up with humorous instances within the generally dark tone.

Naturally, the movie also deals with a suppressed subconscious and has an ending that results in the unveiling of that subconscious.


Why does Bateman shoot at the police?

Nearly immediately after Patrick Bateman breaks up with Evelyn and bounces back to pick up some video recordings, the fallacies begin later that evening when Bateman uses an ATM to make a withdrawal and, for some reason, the machine asks him to feed it a stray cat.

He is about to start firing bullets at the cat that magically comes directly in front of him but is interrupted by an onlooker, and Bateman ultimately ends up gunning her down alternatively. He is instantly pursued by police officers, and during a gunfight between them in a laneway, he subsequently shoots which results in their death.

The gunfight ends when the police vehicles blow up as Bateman keeps firing bullets at them. Even Bateman can be seen momentarily staring in shock at his weapon before running away. This is presumably satirical. He kills a janitor, and even a security personnel in his urgency to escape when he reaches the wrong office complex while trying to get to his workplace.


Why does Bateman admit to his crimes?

On sensing that a police vehicle is tailing him and a beam of light is shining on the office window, strikingly similar to his workplace, he desperately calls his defence attorney, admitting to the killings he engaged in, in excruciating detail.

Oddly enough, he is unable to pinpoint how many individuals he murdered during his violent outburst throughout the chat, rapidly wavering between a wild speculation varying from 5 up to as many as 40.

The chaotic happenings of the evening abruptly come to an end just as they were coming together as if the search operation for whoever gunned down at least five folks on the sidewalk was suddenly magically called off. We then cut to the following day’s happenings, where Bateman is still convinced that the previous night’s episode happened exactly as it is depicted in the movie.


What does Bateman find in Allen’s apartment?

The following morning, Bateman heads over to Allen’s apartment to find out where he’s concealed the rotting corpses that Christie must have found before she was fatally injured. Unexpectedly, he is shocked to learn that the residence is for sale and discovers that the rooms are all strikingly white.

The bodies have been removed, and instead of running into the police or other law enforcement agencies as he had anticipated, Bateman instead finds a realtor talking to candidates about the apartment.

The realtor faces Bateman and informs him that Paul Allen never resided there. Just as he starts to lose grip, he frantically and nervously calls his assistant, Jean, who was among the lucky few to escape Patrick’s wrath.

After entering Bateman’s workplace, Jean searches for his diary and discovers horrifying illustrations, barbaric, and deranged doodles of the folks he had killed, especially the women.


What happens at Harry’s bar?

Bateman and his co-workers are still debating where to reserve a table for the night back at Harry’s Bar, where he had previously informed his attorney Harold Carnes he was going to be that afternoon. He makes an attempt to defend himself, but it turns out that the attorney doesn’t even know who he is.

No one recognizes anyone, which is a recurring theme across both the novel and the movie (though especially in the novel). Everyone is so na├»ve that they are all constantly unaware of everything. The lawyer also claims that Paul Allen can’t be dead simply because they had lunch together in London and believes that the phone conversation was probably a practical joke. It makes sense that Bateman is perplexed.


Does Bateman actually murder all those people?

A common theory is that everything that happens unfolds in Bateman’s head. This seems like a sensible inference because, even if Bateman isn’t a murderer, it’s not unreasonable to assume that he may have fantasized about everything that took place.

People frequently assume that the movie is one continuous hallucination owing to the fact that Paul Allen’s residence was mopped up and because there was no mention of the rotting corpses that Bateman allegedly left behind.

According to this theory, Bateman merely fantasized about that as well, and those doodles are how he brought those obsessions to life.

A scene in which Bateman fires a police vehicle and the vehicle blows up, causing Bateman to take a gander at his weapon bewildered, seems to be another component that people cite to support this hypothesis. In real life, cars don’t blow up when you start firing them; this is why Bateman was looking baffled, but that could also be a satire at the action sequences in movies where that generally does happen.

Another way of looking at it is that Bateman did actually kill all those people. The vehicle may have blown up if the bullets ignited the gas. Each of those acts actually occurred; they were just not all in his head. Viewers might wonder, “But what about Paul Allen’s residence?”

That has a reason as well, and it tends to make the whole tale all the more unsettling. It’s true that Bateman did indeed end up leaving dead bodies inside that residence. However, because the residence is a valuable asset of New York rental properties, the property’s owner kept it quiet, decided to get rid of the bodies himself, and is now attempting to rent it out covertly.

But what about you guys? What do you think happened? Do you have an alternate theory?


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