American Psycho Book to Movie Essay

874 Words Jun 30th, 2013 4 Pages
Allister Baudoin
Mr. Jason Raush
Lit. of Extreme Situations
8 April 2013

American Psycho Novel and Movie Comparison

After the release of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, and the critical response that soon followed, many would believe that a film version of such a creatively gruesome novel would be an impossible task to undertake. The extended seemingly endless descriptions, stream of conscious narrative, countless scenes of grotesque violence, and not to mention a literary ban in both Germany and Australia are just a few reasons why so many believed a movie could never exist. However in the spring of 2000, director Mary Harron defied the odds and transformed this controversial work from hardcover to the big screen. Remarkably
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Although the film could not hold this exact effect, many of these lines were straight from the novel, except for the Phil Collins references, and were stated under a comical tone that stayed true to the satirical nature of the work. Each of these scenes shows the progression of a Patrick Bateman that has become less of a human and more a product of society.
The greatest difference from book to film lies in the scenes of abundant violence. Although the film had to alter certain portions to receive an “R” not “NC-17” rating, the movie, even with the old cuts in place, would still not even scratch the surface of the horror and revolting actions found within the novel. Events like the killing of an innocent child at a zoo, the pieces of body left in his Hell’s Kitchen apartment, cannibalism, and other more disgusting ways of torturing women were not visually placed in the movie. Nevertheless many of them were hinted at throughout which allowed audiences to imagine the terrifying acts that Bateman partook in themselves, actors the ability to play with dialogue, and readers to notice the inner most references to scenes from the book. Not all violence and gore was left to the imagination however, but were subtly shown for example by a scrape on a women’s back or by the image of a severed head tucked away inside of Bateman’s fridge until the climax where shots of former bodies are exposed during a chase seen with a…

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