In the first few reels of the film, you get acquainted with the protagonist. They might show some odd behavior, but mostly things seem normal. Then, you start noticing changes in their manners either due to their own inner conflicts or sometimes due to external circumstances. Halfway through the film, all hell breaks loose, and the protagonist goes completely mad. You don’t know what they are going to do next. You are hooked till the final moments of the film, wanting to know will they damage others or themselves. I just described to you the typical plot of descent into madness movies. We don’t have a genre defined for such movies, but there have been so many great movies made on the subject that, ideally, there should be a separate genre for such films. And one such film that belongs to that “special” genre is American Psycho.
Patrick Bateman is young, white, beautiful, Ivy League-educated, and indistinguishable from his Wall Street colleagues. Shielded by conformity, privilege, and wealth, Bateman is also the ultimate serial killer, roaming freely and fearlessly. His murderous impulses are fueled by zealous materialism and piercing envy when he discovers someone else has acquired more than he has. After a colleague presents a business card superior in ink and paper to his, Bateman’s blood thirst sharpens, and he steps up his homicidal activities to a frenzied pitch.
If you love American Psycho like me, I am sure you must be looking for similar films. While it is virtually impossible to find a film that’s as brilliant as American Psycho, we still have tried our best to come up with a list of films similar to American Psycho. Have a look. If you are interested, you might be able to watch some of these movies like American Psycho on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or Hulu.
10. Nightcrawler (2014)
‘Nightcrawler’ is a deeply unsettling drama about a man who will go to any lengths to achieve success. The protagonist is Lou Bloom — portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal — a small-time thief who first comes across as only mildly insane. Gradually, from underneath the mask of a photographer-cum-salesman, Lou’s level of insanity begins to show. Lou, in the blinding glare of his success, becomes a villain. He seems to have no moral code, no life-altering dilemmas, and no love for anyone in general. Ambition is his only virtue and vice.
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9. Black Swan (2010)
‘Black Swan’ follows the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. The opening production of a new season called Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. ‘Black Swan’ is a thrilling and, at times, terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.
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8. The Shutter Island (2010)
All hell breaks loose at the AsheCliff Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island when they find one of their most dangerous patients to have escaped the premises but hiding somewhere in the hospital. Investigators Teddy and Chuck come on board and start looking for clues on the island. They find everyone to be a suspect. Even Teddy himself. Martin Scorsese’s neo-noir has the viewer caught biting his nail in anticipation. And when the curtains are down, he asks the same question that Teddy has asked as well – “Which would be worse? To live as a monster or die as a good man?”
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7. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Here’s a tip for all the movie buffs. Watch all of Coen brother’s movies and then praise me later. They have created some of the best films like A serious man, Fargo, True Grit, to name a few. This film, like many of the others, is a masterpiece. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is a hunter whose life takes a wrong turn when he stumbles upon a scene of a drug deal gone wrong. His greed gets hold of him as he decides to keep the two million dollars retrieved from the scene. This makes killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) follow him, and he will stop at nothing until he gets his money and hunts Moss down. This results in a violent cat and mouse chase i.e. if the cat was a psychopathic killer and if the mouse was…..er… Josh Brolin.
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6. There Will be Blood (2007)
There will be Blood is a vicious tale of greed, obsession, and betrayal decorated by exquisite performances. It tells a ruthless story of a silver miner-turned-oilman Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), on an obsessive quest for wealth during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and 20th centuries. “I don’t want to succeed” he says “I don’t want others to succeed” – a line spoken by a pure tyrannical Sociopath that resides within Daniel Plainview. The world of cinema has seen a plethora of phenomenal performers who, over the years, have entranced billions of viewers globally with their effort, subtlety, elegance, and craziness.
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5. Eraserhead (1977)
Roughly categorized as a surrealist venture, David Lynch’s first critically acclaimed movie ‘Eraserhead’ narrates the story of a man who needs to take care of his severely deformed child. Essentially a body horror movie that has distinct psychological and philosophical elements. Torn between disturbing visions of a woman and hallucinations representing sexual undertones, the protagonist is shown to dwell in a mechanized cityscape with dystopian settings. Cinematographed in black-and-white, the film, featuring a vivid and immaculate soundtrack, has been able to gather a significant base of admirers over the years.
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4. Network (1975)
When anchorman Howard Beale is forced to retire from his 25-year post because of his age, he announces to his viewers that he’s going to commit suicide on his final program. When his announcement looks like it will improve the ratings, the entire event is turned into a garish entertainment spectacle. The movie masterfully shifts its gears between madness and sanity. While the diabolical and messianic rants by the movie’s principal character Howard Beale constitute one end of the movie’s spectrum, the subtle human degradation that accompanies ruthless professionalism constitutes the other.
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3. The Shining (1980)
Stephen King, the author of the book on which ‘The Shining’ is based was and remains extremely disappointed in the film. It’s understandable; because it bears little resemblance to his bestselling venture. Instead, the film is far more hypnotic, pulling you into the frightening vastness and silence of the Overlook Hotel, as the languid pace helps it to creep under your skull. Whether it be Wendy discovering Jack’s work, Mr. Grady’s conversation with Jack in the bathroom, or Jack trailing Danny in the hedge maze, there are things about ‘The Shining’ that still keep me awake.
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2. Apocalypse Now (1979)
The finest film made about the war in Vietnam and the madness that seeped into the young men fighting the war. Coppola threw himself into the making of this masterpiece and allowed audiences to be hurtled into Viet Nam and experience the nightmare it truly was. An American Captain (Martin Sheen) is sent into Cambodia to assassinate a Colonel who has gone insane and is fighting his own war. Along the way, on his journey, the more he learns about Kurtz (Brando), the more he believes in what he has done and does not think him mad at all.
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1. Taxi Driver (1976)
Robert De Niro gives a seething, incredibly focused performance as a former Viet Nam veteran now prowling the streets of New York City in the seventies as a late-night cabbie, his mind slowly being eroded by the filth he sees around him. Like a ticking time bomb, we know he is going to go off but we do not know when or really know what it will be that sets him off. Scorsese created a dark masterpiece, his camera right down on the streets of the city with its character seeing the hell he sees, the very hell building his rage. With steam rising from the sewer grates, the opening shots suggest that hell is bubbling just beneath the city.
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