I watched the film, having read Bret Easton Ellis’ book first, and a part of me was relieved that the director had opted to remove a certain scene involving rats from the film. The way that Easton Ellis had written it, gave me chills, and I dread to think what it might have looked like on film.
However much of the narrative power, seemed to be removed from the film. The director had opted to seriously tone down the violence running through the book. It’s sensible in one way, as it would enable the film to reach more people, but it also meant that the contrast between the bland existence led by so many of the people on Wall Street, and the brutal violence that Patrick uses against people was not as sharp.
It merely seemed to be yet another slasher flick, despite Christian Bale’s best efforts, a image not helped really by the fact that he drops a chainsaw down a stairway in a attempt to catch one victim. I don’t remember that being in the book, although I have to confess that it has been several years since I read it.
Christian Bale is perfect in the role, displaying the total lack of empathy and conscience that Patrick shows throughout the novel, and yet showing the wild, uncontrollable psychosis he possesses too.
I just think that, as is too often the case, the book is head and shoulders above the film. If you want to experience a pitch black satire, crossed with horror then the best bet is to read the book, rather than watch the film.