For horror fans there hasn’t been much by the way of UHD offerings so far, which doesn’t make much sense considering we are some of the biggest consumers of physical media right now. Except for a few new releases, most fans like myself have had to go to the import route if they wanted to enjoy some genre classics on their shiny new 4K setup; but this season that’s about to change. Lionsgate is definitely stepping up their game this fall, starting off with American Psycho and then releasing both Evil Dead and Halloween just in time for Halloween proper. American Psycho is packaged in a 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray and Digital set, with the Blu-ray being the previous special edition release.

American Psycho had an interesting transition from page to screen. The original book by Brett Easton Ellis, with its grisly depictions of misogynistic violence against women set against the wealth and materialism of the 1980s, was originally thought to be unfilmable. The book incited protests and boycotts with its release, which led to the rights being quickly snatched up and sent into development to crack the material. David Cronenberg was originally going to helm the film but dropped the project, which later went to Mary Harron, who cast Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. Bale was pretty much just that kid from Newsies at this point in his career. Now this is where it gets dicey. Harron was in preproduction when Oliver Stone showed interest in the project with Leonardo DiCaprio, who was just coming off of Titanic attached to star. Stone’s approach was going to be in black and white, to minimize budget to stay as close as it could to the source and its tone. The story goes that DiCaprio was swayed from the project when he was reminded that he would probably alienate his entire fanbase if he took the role, considering it was comprised mostly of teenage girls.

DiCaprio left the project and went on to do The Beach, and Harron was brought back in and thankfully so. Her take on the material was more of a satirical one, playing up the superficial-ness and fragile masculinity of the material, rather than its grislier aspects. The film still is the story of Patrick Bateman, businessman by day/serial killer by night, but Mary paints him in a light that fills the film with a gallows humor that at times does end in a bit of violence. But her approach is a bit more surreal as we see as Patrick prey upon the homeless and prostitutes before working his way up to his Ivy League rival Paul Allen, which is where he finally might have to be held accountable for his crimes. The surreal piece is, while in the book we are VERY sure Bateman has done all of these things and they are all described very meticulous detail in the film, Harron is very ambiguous as to what is real and what is Bateman’s delusion. It left the film very open ended, adding an unexpected dimension to the story.

The film when it came out was a modest success and has since been absorbed into the horror zeitgeist, with Patrick Bateman oddly put in the same horror pantheon as a Freddy or Jason. This makes the film the sort of Breakfast at Tiffany’s for horror dudes; you have people that watch the film or say they do that never delve below the surface or dig into the film’s context, much like those who say they love Breakfast, but never picked up on the film’s theme of prostitution. For Psycho this is especially puzzling given the film paints Patrick’s obsession with violence, even showing him working out to either porn or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in a very sort of a male masturbatory way. It’s a deconstruction Harron pulls off flawlessly as she takes the material, and while keeping the spirit has evolved it into something a bit more self-aware while also being a great commentary on the excess of the ‘80s.

The 4KUHD is a stunning transfer that hasn’t been DNR’ed to death and still has its grain very much intact. The transfer is so clear in fact that you can very much tell that most of the gorgeous New York skylines are just giant posters behind glass, which adds an odd surrealness to the scenes and more credence to the fact that this is all some twisted toxic male fantasy by Bateman. The detail here in the image is stunning, spotlighting the costume choices and production design. You can see the smallest details of the costume choices here, from the texture of the wool suits to CDs and books in Patrick Bateman’s apartment. The image is bright and very clean with a great contrast throughout. The extras here are all ported from the previous Blu-ray that originally came from the special edition DVD, all still in standard definition.

American Psycho, given our current political climate, is probably more relevant than ever. Especially considering there is more than one Trump name drop in the film, which puts Patrick in the same social circle, albeit on the outer edges, as our current president. That being said, the film is still as effective as ever and hasn’t lost a step. It’s both a great satirical take on the madness that was the ‘80s and one man’s decent into that madness. The film is both a contrast and a compliment to the source material that Harron has turned into a horror classic that, just like its protagonist, can be appreciated on more than one level. For casual fans there isn’t much new here, but the image upgrade for those with the means to enjoy it will be more than happy revisiting this film and digging deeper through the clues now visible.

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