American Psycho Ending Explained: Was It All in Patrick Bateman’s Head?

american psycho ending explained

A true polymorphism of the cinematic genre, American Psycho is a psychological crime thriller that can take many forms that become apparent only through close viewing.

It was released in 2000 and stars Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon, Jared Leto, and Willem Dafoe, to name just a few of the cast members. Bret Easton Ellis is the author of the book that this film is based.

Directed by Mary Harron, the film depicts a woman who is cruel to others, mainly women. American Psycho’s plot and ending have been explained in detail; spoilers ahead.

For all intents and purposes, the movie appears to be an odd blend of gore and sadism, with a perverse drive toward murder as its central theme and scenes of unjustified cruelty as its primary draw.

But “American Psycho” is far from straightforward, and a close examination reveals that it has deeper meanings and even moral implications.

This article provides a comprehensive review of “American Psycho,” which is especially useful for students writing critical essays on the film.

For those who prefer to pay for research papers, spend some time reading to get a better understanding of what this movie is all about.

Plot Summary

American Psycho Ending Explained

He spends most of his time dining at trendy restaurants while maintaining appearances for his fiancée, Evelyn Williams, and his circle of wealthy associates, most of whom he despises.

Bateman and his colleagues proudly display their business cards during a business meeting. Bateman confronts a homeless man in an alley at night and stabs him and stomps his dog to death in rage over his colleague Paul Allen‘s superiority.

After a Christmas party, Bateman and Allen, who mistakes Bateman for another coworker, plan a dinner date.

Affluence and the ability to get reservations at Dorsia, an exclusive restaurant Bateman is unable to get into making Bateman bitter towards Allen.

Allen is tricked into drinking by Bateman. In his apartment, he lures Allen in and stabs him to death with an ax. On his answering machine, Patrick leaves a voicemail claiming that Allen has gone to London on a business trip.

Before torturing and sending the two prostitutes, Christie and Sabrina, on their way, Bateman takes them to his apartment to have sex.

Angered by the discovery of a new business card from Bateman’s colleague Luis Carruthers, the latter tries to strangle Carruthers in the restroom of a pricey restaurant. As a result of this, Carruthers reveals his feelings for Bateman, causing her to flee.

He invites Jean for dinner after killing a model and suggests that she meet him at his apartment for a drink first. Bateman plans to use a nail gun to kill her, but he abandons the plan when he receives a voicemail from Williams.

American Psycho Ending Explained

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During lunch, Kimball tells Bateman that Allen’s disappearance is not his. He reveals that a Bateman colleague claims to have seen Allen in London, casting doubt on the investigation. Bateman is relieved, but he begins to doubt his own abilities after the news.

In Allen’s apartment, Bateman drugs his friend Elizabeth before having sex with her and Christie. He then returns to Allen’s. In her desperate search for a way out, Christie comes across the bodies of several other women, all of whom were murdered by Bateman.

He chases her down a staircase and drops a chainsaw on her head as she tries to flee. A few days later, Bateman calls it quits with Williams.

While using an ATM, Bateman notices a cat. The ATM reads “feed me a stray cat,” so he gets ready to shoot the cat. When confronted by a woman, he responds by shooting her.

Bateman is on the run from the police when he blows up a police car and kills the officers. Two more people are killed by Bateman before he goes into hiding in his office. During the call, he begs Harold Carnes to take down his confession, in which he claims to have killed between 20 and 40 people.

When Bateman goes to Allen’s apartment the next day to clean it, he finds it empty and for sale. To make matters worse, the realtor tells him to get out of there because the apartment does not belong to him.

While Bateman is out to lunch with his coworkers, Jean discovers graphic drawings in Bateman’s office journal depicting horrific acts of murder and mutilation. The next time Bateman runs into Carnes, he brings up the phone message.

American Psycho Ending Explained

Bateman’s confession is taken as a joke by Carnes, who thinks he’s talking to another coworker. Carnes says Bateman’s claims are impossible because he recently dined with Allen in London and now knows who he is and that he confesses to the murders.

Bateman returns to his friends, and they discuss their dinner plans while pondering whether Ronald Reagan is a harmless old man or a hidden psychopath.

When Bateman realizes that he will never get the punishment he wants because he doesn’t know if his crimes were real or not, he loses all hope.

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American Psycho Ending Explained

What Happened at The End of American Psycho?

american psycho ending explained

Watching the movie, you can see how Bateman’s character slowly starts to go crazy. As he tries to get away from reality, his sadistic tendencies become more and more subtle, culminating in the murder of more than seven people he meets including an old woman on the street, a police squad, and a janitor.

Patrick hastily makes his way back to his office, where he sobs in front of his lawyer, Garrett, and confesses everything he’s done wrong.

Returning to Paul Owen’s apartment after a confession, the protagonist goes about erasing the evidence.

When Patrick discovers that Paul never lived in the apartment, it’s an obvious sign that his rampage is just a figment of his imagination. Bateman’s final meeting with his lawyer, whom he previously admitted to murdering, supports this theory.

Garrett thinks it’s all a joke when people talk about the murders and reports that Paul Owen is still alive.

For Bateman’s own sanity and to escape reality, Bateman created a sadistic universe in which all morals and social norms were thrown out the window.


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