Mary Harron’s American Psycho quickly became one of the most popular horrors to ever hit the screens; this is not only due to the exceptional portrayal of the protagonist Patrick Bateman played by Christian Bale. It’s for this reason that we created a list of 12 movies like American Psycho. We are introduced to Patrick Bateman, a young Harvard Business School graduate who seems to be a normal wealthy investment banker in 1980s Wall Street; when in reality, he is a psychopathic serial killer whose murders become increasingly horrific over time.
Patrick, who enjoys flaunting his wealth, spends his free time perfecting his beauty regimen, shopping, exercising, watching talk shows, and arguing with co-workers about fashion. American Psycho is satirical dive into the yuppie culture of the 80s and the extreme competition for social status taken too far. If you enjoyed it as much as we did, we’re sure you’re looking for a comparable list of movies. Therefore, look below for a list of 12 movies like American Psycho.
List of Movies Like American Psycho
1. Fight Club (1999)
When a depressed insomniac and unnamed narrator, played by Edward Norton, meets a man named Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt, a soap salesman on a flight who just happens to run a fight club. He begins to live a more fulfilling life. However, Durden’s exploits soon escalate, leaving the Narrator to try to resolve the resulting chaos.
The Narrator begins Fight Club’s story by trying to cure his insomnia. He eventually finds a cure by attending cancer support groups. Similar to movies like American Psycho, Fight Club explores the themes of masculinity, identity, violence, and unreliability- the effect they have on both protagonists’ perception of reality is altered in such a way that it seems unreal, forcing them into a state of derealisation.
2. Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver is a story about Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro provides a visceral, razor-sharp portrayal of a former Vietnam soldier now working as a late-night cab driver in New York City in the 1970s, his mind slowly being destroyed by the filth he sees in his vice-laden surroundings.
Robert De Niro’s performance as the antihero of antiheroes Travis Bickle will remind you of movies like American Psycho, which conveys a slow slide into derangement with a gradual build-up of menace culminating in a blood-filled apartment shoot-out.
Also Read: Movies like Taxi Driver
3. Mr. Brooks (2007)
Similar to films like American Psycho, this movie follows the life of a businessman. Mr Brooks, played by Kevin Costner, lives a seemingly perfect life But has a very sinister secret underneath the family man facade — he is an insatiable serial killer, so lethally clever that no one would ever suspect him.
The movie bates to the viewer’s mind the titular Mr Brooks, who has to deal with the stresses that every normal family man has to deal with while trying to go undetected even as there may be evidence of his dark side, keep a dogged cop of his back as well as we keep all his activities a secret from his wife.
4. Zodiac (2007)
The same movies like American Psycho is a movie based on serial killers and their further descent into an uncontrollable urge to kill. The movie starts with the gruesome murder of a couple and five other killings not too long after that, which will leave you on your toes.
Based on real-life events, Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for a notorious serial killer who called himself the “Zodiac” and killed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s, leaving several victims in his wake and taunting police with letters, blood stained clothing, and cyphers mailed to newspapers. Just as the protagonist is not apprehended for his acts in American Psycho, the zodiac cases remain one of Northern California’s most infamous unsolved crimes.
Also Read: Movies like Zodiac
5. The House That Jack Built (2018)
This movie traces the life of Jack, a quiet, seemingly-harmless architect, working on building his dream house. One day, in a fit of annoyance and anger, he kills a woman to whom he had reluctantly given a lift. He discovers that he enjoys killing, and over the next 12 years, he goes on to become a prolific serial killer.
We experience the story from Jack’s POV, who details his crimes through a series of flashbacks by recounting five of his crimes that define his development as a serial killer. We are taken on a macabre ride as he is led around the nine circles of hell by the Roman poet Virgil (known as ‘Verge’), to account for all his crimes. The House That Jack Built echoes, in both its traumatic content and its form, fits in the list of movies similar to American Psycho.
6. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
This movie is set in the squalid slums of eighteenth-century Paris, the French orphan, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, is born with a superior olfactory sense. Gradually, we follow his story as the young man discovers the world and a myriad of primitive scents. With an incredible talent for discerning scents, this, in turn, helps him create beautiful perfumes. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he tries to capture the one elusive scent he can’t quite get a hold of: ‘the scent of young womanhood’.
Similar to characters in films like American Psycho, Grenouille’s obsession turns deadly, and 12 young girls are found murdered. Panic breaks out as people rush to protect their daughters, while an unrepentant and unrelenting Grenouille still lacks the final ingredient to complete his quest.
7. Joker (2019)
Set in 1981, Gotham City, Joker is the story of Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) a failed comedian and a clown-for-hire. We are reminded about the characters who were shaped by the environment in which they are.
Featuring an immersive, award-worthy performance by Joaquin Phoenix and a bleak, grounded portrayal of one of the world’s most famous fictional villains, similar to movies like American Psycho, we see the way he is affected by the social systems till he gives in to his Primal urges that tips him to the darker side.
8. The History of Violence (2005)
The History of Violence, similar to movies like American Psycho, proves that underneath the mask of normalcy usually lies the ugly and dark side of man. A History of Violence follows the life of Tom Stall, a diner owner who by all descriptions is a mild-mannered man in a small town in Millbrook, Indiana. He gets his life turned upside down by facing off and killing two criminals that come to rob his diner.
He immediately becomes the talk of the town, hailed by all as a real American hero. The undesired popularity and media exposure, however, brings unwanted attention as a mob boss and his henchmen soon arrive claiming that Tom is actually Joey, a criminal from Philadelphia who left the mob around two decades ago and tried to build a completely new life for himself.
9. The Voices (2014)
In The Voices, Ryan Reynolds plays Jerry, a likeable if the socially awkward man who works at a bathtub factory and just happens to suffer from schizophrenia. He lives with his dog, Bosco, and his cat, Mr. Whiskers. Similar to movies like American Psycho, Jerry has to battle with delusions and hallucinations. These manifest in the form of his pets talking to him as his personal moral guides. Bosco often represents his good intentions, while Mr. Whiskers represents his more violent nature.
The Voices is rife with morbid humour so fortunately, it has a good comedic undertone. This keeps things relatively light, considering how gruesome the acts he commits are. Viewing everything through Jerry’s eyes and from his twisted mind so nothing seems as horrifying as they obviously are.
10. Maniac (2012)
For films similar to American Psycho, we are once again catapulted into the mind of a sadistic serial killer in the movie Maniac. A more shocking and gory remake of the 1980s slasher cult classic, Elijah Wood stars as Frank Zito, a withdrawn owner of a mannequin store whose night-time entertainment involves stalking and scalping women. His life changes when he meets the French artist Ana, who needs his help with the setup for her exhibition.
As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, and his repressed desires come to the surface, it becomes clear that Frank is far more dangerous than he seems. The movie, directed by Franck Khalfoun, is a psychologically complex and profoundly horrific trip into the downward-spiralling nightmare of a killer and his victims. It is a movie that gets into the mind of a killer like few films ever have.
11. The Machinist (2004)
Trevor Reznik, played by American Psycho’s own Christian Bale, is a machinist who has lost the ability to sleep. But this is no ordinary insomnia. Trevor has not slept in a year. Fatigue has led to a shocking deterioration of his physical and mental health. Suspicious of his appearance, Trevor’s co-workers first shy away from him, then turn against him after he’s involved in a shop accident that costs a man his arm. If you are a Christian Bale fan then check out movies like The Big Short.
They blame Trevor for the accident. He has become a liability to himself and others, and now they want him out. Plagued with guilt, Trevor’s shame becomes suspicion, then paranoia, when it appears his workmates are conspiring to have him fired or worse, killed. This sense of delusion and paranoia will come as no surprise to fans of movies like American Psycho.
12. Black Swan (2010)
Hearing creative people with an unhealthy goal to be the best in their field is not a new concept. Black Swan weaves a story of female rivalry, the obsessive desire for artistic excellence, and its effect on mental health. The film revolves around Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, a ballerina in the New York City ballet company who desperately wants both starring roles in the company’s opening season performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
She subjects her body to such intense training as She’s faced with pressure from herself, her mother and a fear of being replaced by a new dancer, pushing her mind to its limits. She is plagued by hallucinations that make her question her reality. Same as movies like American Psycho. You are taken on a journey through the disturbing views of a fractured mind. Black Swan weaves fascinating commentary on the themes of mental health, sexual repression, and the price of success.
Here are a few movies like American Psycho that didn’t make the list, which you can also check out:
- Into The Dark
- The Body
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile