When it comes to the ending of American Psycho, Mary Harron’s film is a lot like the Bret Easton Ellis book that it’s based on. Fans have been debating about it for a long time now. A lot of twists and turns happen in the story, which makes the audience wonder how much of it is real and how much is just Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman’s imagination. It’s been going on for years, but we’re ready to settle it.
We’ve looked very closely at the ending of American Psycho, just like we did with movies like The Prestige and Clue. We know what happens in the last few minutes of the movie and how it affects the movie as a whole. What did we find out? Find out more by reading on!
What Happens At The End Of The Movie?
In order to understand the last scene in American Psycho, you need to remember the details of the sequence that led up to it. Patrick Bateman goes to the ATM. There’s a big difference between this and how most people try to get money out of their bank, though. The banking software tells our hero to feed it a stray cat. They don’t have a problem with this idea, and there happens to be a kitten nearby. Bateman shoots the animal and puts it in the cash dispenser, but he gets stopped. A woman who is understandably scared ends up being Bateman’s first victim of the night, which isn’t what he had in mind at all.
People notice this killing right away, and Bateman finds himself in first a chase, then a shootout with the cops. It doesn’t matter that his weapon is a pistol and that he’s stuck in an open alleyway. He still manages to kill at least two police officers and blow up one of their cars. Even the main character thinks this is weird. He stares at his gun in disbelief. There will be more to come. This is just the start of a psychotic and violent night.
With no direction, Bateman walks into an office building. The security guard on duty calls out to him with recognition and refers to Bateman as “Mr. Smith,” even though it’s not Pierce & Pierce. The protagonist shoots and kills the guard, then kills a janitor on his way out of the building through a revolving door. In the next building, Pierce & Pierce, he finds his way. He then climbs to his office on the top floor.
Under his desk, Bateman makes a call to his lawyer, Harold (Stephen Bogaert), to tell him that he lied about what he did. With tears streaming down his face, he confesses to every horrible thing he’s done, some of which we saw in the movie and some of which we haven’t seen yet. In the movie, Paul Allen (Jared Leto) is one of the people he killed. He says that he has killed anywhere from 20 to 40 people, including him. He tells his lawyer where he can meet him tomorrow.
After this point, everything we thought we knew about American Psycho starts to fall apart. He has been keeping body parts in Paul Allen’s apartment. A realtor says that no one named Paul Allen lived there, and the body parts Bateman has been keeping are gone. A notebook that Jean (Chloe Sevigny) finds looks like it’s her boss’s thoughts. We start to wonder if it’s all just his imagination. In fact, the real bombshell is dropped when Bateman is on his way to the bar to meet with his lawyer to talk about the case.
Harold, like almost everyone else in the movie, thinks that Bateman is someone else. He thinks that the message he was given was just a joke, with the punchline being the idea of a dork like Patrick Bateman being a serial killer. Claims about Paul Allen by the main character are not true, but the lawyer says that he saw Allen just a few days ago in London. The main character is crazy. In the aftermath of this revelation, Bateman is in shock. He is questioning everything he thinks he has done, and he is dealing with his deep inner pain.
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Breaking Down The Two Most Popular Theories
Our interpretation of the ending of American Psycho isn’t the only one out there. From our point of view, you can probably figure out what the main alternative theory is: Patrick Bateman killed everyone, including Paul Allen. In order to believe this, you kind of have to go with the flow when it comes to the movie’s third act, which is filled with fantasy and delusion. But there is an argument to be made about this. How? The film’s deep, deep satire is the key. A lot of people don’t see Patrick Bateman the way he is in American Psycho. This shows that the main character isn’t more than a face in a crowd of yuppies. As a result of his desire to fit in, he has become completely invisibility-proof thanks to his job, Valentino suits, and Oliver Peoples glasses. He can go on a killing spree through downtown New York and walk away without anyone noticing. And again, because of his high status, no one can believe his story about death and mayhem.
Satire can be used to explain both Paul Allen’s “murder” and Bateman’s meeting with his lawyer at the end of the movie. This movie shows Allen as being more important than the main character, but it’s not out of the question that other people think he’s just another one of Bateman’s ilk. In this case, it’s a long shot, but maybe Harold had dinner with someone he thought was Paul Allen in London, while the real Paul Allen drowned in a bathtub (as Bateman suggested in his confession). When you think about the state of Paul Allen’s apartment at the end of the movie, though, this theory really falls apart. Some people might say that because the place looks so clean, it’s possible that Bateman did the cleanup on his own without realizing it. But that doesn’t explain why the realtor was there and why she didn’t know who Paul Allen was. There are a lot of theories that say that American Psycho’s main character killed his enemy. This fact goes a long way to destroying them.