This Day in Horror History: AMERICAN PSYCHO Was Released in 2000

It’s been 20 years since American Psycho was unleashed upon the masses, and the film is as controversial, shocking, and loaded with timely subtext today as it ever was. Based on the novel by Brett Easton Ellis and directed by Mary Harron, the film stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a character who has been firmly entrenched into modern pop culture. Tackling themes of consumerism, greed, and excess, American Psycho also includes wonderful performances from Jared Leto, ChloĆ« Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, and Willem Dafoe.

If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never experienced American Pyscho for yourself, check out the trailer and synopsis below.

In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem Dafoe), the fiance (Reese Witherspoon), the mistress (Samantha Mathis), the coworker (Jared Leto), and the secretary (Chloƫ Sevigny). This is a biting, wry comedy examining the elements that make a man a monster.

Christian Bale was warned by many that it would be career suicide for him to play the lead in a film like this. This only made him more eager to take the part. Fortunately for him, the opposite turned out to be true. Bale’s role in the movie was considered a breakthrough performance, and enabled him to shift his career from supporting roles to leading man status in the decades to come. This finally culminated in roles in the Batman and Terminator franchises, wide critical acclaim, as well as several movie awards nominations. (Source)

When Leonardo DiCaprio was still attached to the project, feminist activist Gloria Steinem lobbied him not to make the film, as his fan base consisted predominately of young teenage girls, and he could ruin his career. Steinem had spoken out about the novel several times and was against the film version in any incarnation. Her involvement is rendered especially interesting insofar as she would soon become Christian Bale’s stepmother (as Steinem and Bale’s father were dating at the time that Bale accepted the part). Bale later dismissed rumors that he specifically accepted the role to irk Steinem as unsubstantiated gossip. (Source)

Are you a fan of American Psycho? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.



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