So, … what really happened at the end of American Psycho? The movie was superb, but the directors left us all very puzzled. Did Bateman really kill everyone, or was it all in his head? I have a complicated love- hate relationship with open endings, but the extreme vagueness in American Psycho seriously bugs me. Without further ado, here are the three theories on what really happened in the highly disturbing thriller.
1. Patrick Bateman Killed Everyone
If we look at it this way, the movie suddenly becomes particularly satirical, and sadistic. The millionaire killed dozens, but went on being unnoticed by the folks around him, simply because in a corrupt society where money is the center of everything, nobody cares! After Bateman killed Paul Allen, and dragged the body bag down to the lobby, no one paid attention to the obvious blood trail, or the fact that a man was freaking carrying a body bag! Unsurprisingly, an acquaintance asked Patrick where he got the bag, instead of wondering like a sane person whether there was a dead person inside.
Remember when Bateman killed the prostitute with a chainsaw? If we think of it this way, his neighbors were way too ignorant to notice a screaming woman knocking on their doors, running from a blood- covered psychopath in his birthday suit. I love this theory, because it mocks how clueless, self- centered people are. All they care about are reservations from expensive restaurants, fonts and watermarks on freshly- printed business cards, or whether they had a tanning bed at home. In a world so materialistic, Patrick Bateman was constantly mistaken for other men, making it ultra easy for him to murder people. After all, nobody cared.
2. Patrick Bateman Did Not Kill Anyone
This is very plausible, although it would make the story’s attire somewhat weaker than the previous theory. After all, Bateman is the “American Psycho”, so it’s reasonable to argue that he really was insane. Throughout the movie, there are lots of evidence to support this theory. How come there wasn’t a huge investigation after Paul Allen’s disappearance? Did anyone seriously not notice all the dead prostitutes? What about the blood trails? How did Patrick blow up a police car with a shotgun? How could he drop the chainsaw with such precision? When you pose questions like this, everything seems more logical.
Also, at the end, Bateman’s lawyer said he’d seen Paul Allen in London. Could this be the solid proof we need? In addition, Jean found her boss’ journal, with all those creepy doodles. This could mean everything was in his head from the start, and no one was murdered.
3. Patrick Bateman Only Killed Paul Allen And The Homeless Man
It’s not likely that he killed all the prostitutes, simply because there were way too many bodies! The only person who testified to Allen being alive was the lawyer at the end of the movie. However, the great thing is, in a society filled with ignorant fools, nobody has an identity anymore. The lawyer could’ve seen someone else, or lied about seeing Allen, to get rid of Bateman.
As for the homeless man, he was a nobody in Bateman’s world, thus an easy victim. From this point of view, Patrick is still a psycho, but he didn’t kill that many people. He probably just freaked out and called his lawyer. What’s the possibility of someone being chased by police helicopters and escaped anyway? Every other kill was almost certainly in his head, made extremely ‘real’ through his drawings, and the movies in the background (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and porn).
In conclusion, the ending was just way too vague. There’s beauty to this shadowy feel, but I’d like a clearer explanation of what really happened. Nonetheless, American Psycho’s interpretation of an unethical, ignorant culture is outstanding. The sharp contrast between Patrick the millionaire with perfect, smooth skin and Patrick the psychopath chopping people’s heads off with music in the background really brought the whole film together.
What do you think about the ending? Let us know in the comments what you think really happened!