American Psycho (2000) Director: Mary Harron

'American Psycho' by Bret Easton Ellis was once considered unfilmable. It's central character - yuppie Patrick Bateman - is a serial killer who, at one point, puts a rat into a girl's woo-woo before sawing her in half with a chainsaw. The understanding that Psycho would have to change a lot before being brought to the Big Screen was understandable and thankfully, Mary Harron's version is faithful to the original book in many ways but makes it accessible and even brings out more of the 'humour' of Bateman. He's a pretty funny fella, you know. Rats and chainsaws ignored.

Christian Bale is a marvel as Bateman, a role which should have seen him win awards. He's in his element as the competitive yuppie, striving to get the best table reservation or to beat his same-old colleagues with the ultimate business card design. He can turn from humour to true horror in a heartbeat, demonstrated when he kills a homeless man and his dog on his way home after a night out, or the way he 'turns' on Paul Allen. His sneers at fiance Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) are hilarious, especially his contempt for her inane conversation as he tries to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape on his cassette player.

There are elements of great horror in Psycho - the naked chainsaw run, the aforementioned man and dog - but this film is a delicious satire on yuppie culture and a great comedy. Bale does well to play such a complex character as Bateman so well, and remains elusive until the end. It's fantastical in places and is open to interpretation. Does he kill them all? Is it all in his head? His confession means nothing. Whatever you think of Bateman and his motives, it's a fun and clever movie that will surprise people who think it's just a slasher. Bateman is SOOO much more than that.

The rats of Manhattan also breathed a heavy sigh of relief when they heard they were not needed as extras.