Why was the apartment clean (what happened to the bodies?)

At the end of Mary Harron’s American Psycho, the bodies disappeared from Paul Allen’s apartment. Does the confusion add to the film?

In the final scene of American psychopath, serial killer Patrick Bateman returns to Paul Allen’s apartment, the location of some of his worst crimes, and finds it clean and without a body. Rather than being faced with the expected bloodbath, he finds a mysterious real estate agent trying to sell an immaculate property. If something untoward happened there, someone went to great lengths to suppress all evidence. The question of what really happened in American psychopaththe end of is left open.

Ms. Wolfe, the real estate agent, appears to suspect Bateman’s connection to the building and asks him to leave. However, there is no explicit mention of the torture and murder that took place. As Bateman walks away from an awkward encounter, audiences wonder if real estate brokers cynically erased the past or if events only happened in Bateman’s feverish imagination.


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The mystery of the missing bodies in the apartment may not present a binary choice between a conspiratorial cleanup and the murders that did not take place, however. There is no way to believe that what is going on in Bateman’s head is an accurate interpretation of events; The character of Christian Bale becomes an increasingly unreliable narrator as the film unfolds. Patrick Bateman’s relationship to reality becomes more and more strained as the story unfolds. His inability to tell whether he killed twenty or forty people indicates a man who has become unable to differentiate fantasy from reality. As for the best readings of American psychopath, the apartment scene and her missing bodies are best explained with an answer that falls somewhere in between.

The Psycho-American Ending Explained By Paul Allen Patrick Bateman

The idea that nothing happened at all seems inadequate. Principal Mary Harron describes her frustration with this particular perspective. “Everyone comes out of the movie thinking it’s all a dream, and I never meant to,“she explains (via The catch). Co-writer Guinevere Turner insists (via IMDB), “We decided from the start […] that we hate movies, books, ending stories and that “it was all a dream”.“Such an ending would render the entire movie somewhat pointless. The idea that Bateman’s ability to delude himself renders him harmless is the antithesis of a film that focuses on the dangers of male narcissism and toxic masculinity.

The theory that Ms. Wolfe, perhaps with the help of others, erased the crime story certainly sounds better with the film’s dark satire. Faced with the prospect of an expensive property losing value due to its association with a horrific crime spree, it’s conceivable that a real estate agent firm could be so cold and calculating that it conceals all that happened there. If so, it places Patrick Bateman’s heinous actions throughout the film against the backdrop of an equally egocentric and indifferent world. It’s a delightfully dark take on that still adds an element to the evil cocktail, but it’s an explanation that is, like the apartment itself, a bit too neat. Harron says of the two interpretations (via IMDB), “He should slip in between. I don’t think you can find the meaning in just one answer.

Perhaps it is the return to Allen’s apartment that is purely the figment of Bateman’s imagination. It is possible that he is fabricating the scene to dismiss the reality of his orgy of violence. Mrs. Wolfe could be a nod to pulp Fiction‘s Winston Wolf, the legendary crime scene cleaner who can wave a magic wand and make everything disappear. An ability to convince oneself that a series of horrific events did not happen by imagining the depravity of others makes Bateman an even more terrifying character. Ambiguity is an essential component of American psychopath. The boundaries between the real and the imaginary are deliberately blurred. While it’s never clear what is real and what is a sordid fantasy, not knowing serves to deepen our loathing rather than dampen Bateman’s actions.

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