It has been almost 23 years since American Psycho was released. The movie has managed to stay relevant. However, the film is much more than those “Sigma” memes, or Patrick Bateman’s iconic quotes. For a deeper understanding, American Psycho analysis is required.

American Psycho is a crime drama movie that was released in 2000. The movie is actually an adaptation of a book of the same name. It propagates various social messages throughout its runtime and is even considered slightly controversial.

So if you’re trying to properly understand the story and thought behind this movie then you’ve come to the right place. Today’s article will feature the hidden message behind American Psycho.

American Psycho Plot

Before dissecting the movie, we are going to discuss the film’s plot. This film is adapted from American Psycho, a novel written by Bret Easton Ellis. American Psycho is ironically directed by a female director, Mary Harron. Christian Bale portrays the protagonist. 

The movie takes place in the late 1980s. It revolves around Wall Street investment banker Patrick Bateman, who hides his psychopathic personality from the rest of the world. 

However, he becomes increasingly obsessed with material wealth, status, and maintaining a perfect image. Bateman’s inner turmoil and his acts of violence become more intense, leading to a series of gruesome murders. Bateman truly becomes a monster as he lets go of the tiniest bit of sanity left inside him.

Was It All A Dream?

American Psycho is famous for having a very twisted ending. The film ends with Patrick Bateman going back to the site of Paul Allen’s murder but he actually finds none of this remains there. Moreover, despite confessing everything in front of a lawyer, the lawyer thinks he’s joking and gets annoyed instead of prosecuting him.

After watching the film’s ending, many people assumed that it was all just a dream. However, while discussing American Psycho explained, the director and writer of the movie reject the idea of it all being a dream.

Yes, Bateman is an unreliable narrator due to his mental health but it doesn’t mean he isn’t a serial killer as well. 

In an interview, the director said, “One thing I think is a failure on my part is people keep coming out of the film thinking that it’s all a dream, and I never intended that. All I wanted was to be ambiguous in the way that the book was. I think it’s a failure of mine in the final scene because I just got the emphasis wrong.”

So no, it wasn’t all just a dream. The story of American Psycho explained will reveal the actual reason why Bateman didn’t find any proof of the atrocious murder he committed.

What Happened To Paul Allen?


Paul Allen was played by Jared Leto. He was Bateman’s colleague and was shown to be arrogant. Bateman was jealous of his colleague’s rising success and also annoyed by his needless arrogance.

So Bateman did what any insane psychopathic murderer would do. He obliterated him with an ax…or did he?

At this point, we do know that the murders were real as American Psycho explained by the director herself. However, Paul Allen’s fate is left ambiguous. Some theories suggest that Bateman did murder someone that night but it wasn’t Paul Allen. Bateman was too delusional to realize that he had murdered someone else.

In the greedy environment of Wall Street, nobody could care less about a person’s disappearance. Paul Allen could’ve been off on a trip or he could’ve been murdered, it wouldn’t really affect any of those Wall Street brokers. They are too intoxicated by their wealth and status.

American Psycho’s Symbolisms

Violence and American Psycho are almost synonymous. However, it would be a mistake to call it mindless violence. Actually, all that excessive violence is used as a symbol of corporate greed.

In terms of American Psycho explained Bateman’s violent fantasies are as insatiable as his colleagues’ desire for money. Paul Allen’s murder is crucial proof of this since it demonstrates how Bateman wants to be the best in this business. He’d go to any length to maintain his status.

However, by the end of the film, Bateman appears to have gotten away with his actions, demonstrating the apathy that others in his social circle have towards that level of violence. 

Furthermore, without American Psycho explained, people tend to think that the film shows Bateman’s breakdown as he becomes a psychopathic murderer. However, by the movie’s end, you will realize that he has a sense of morality.

He comes to terms with his actions and decides that he is guilty of what he did but all this doesn’t matter. As mentioned earlier, the world around Bateman simply doesn’t care. If he told them that he was wearing a cheap suit or he was planning to buy a cheap car then they would’ve considered him a criminal in their eyes. 

So in a way, American Psycho is not a movie about a man falling from grace. It is actually a movie about redemption.

Why Is American Psycho Popular On The Internet?


If you’re a regular user of social media then there’s a chance you see a meme or a reaction image from American Psycho at least once a day. At one point, our entire home pages were full of such images and clips.

So what makes American Psycho so popular? Well, simply because it is a timeless movie. You might be thinking that it is popular among people these days but the truth is that screen grabs from the movie were shared around the internet since the late 2000s.

Despite its box office failure, the movie has generated a cult following. Its portrayal of corporate greed, morality, and toxic mindsets are all quite relevant no matter the day and age.

Is There A Sequel?

You might think that after having American Psycho explained, the sequel of this movie would be brilliant. However, it is quite the opposite. Many people don’t even know that there’s a sequel to this brilliant movie.

American Psycho II: All American Girl is the sequel to this movie. It is quite horrendous, to say the least. All the elements that made American Psycho good were stripped away from the sequel. 

So if you want to have a pleasant memory of American Psycho, avoid the sequel.


So this was our attempt at explaining American Psycho’s ending. We hope you have a better understanding of this movie after reading this. It is one of those movies that gets better on multiple viewings. You will notice so many tiny details after American Psycho is explained.

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