An In-Depth Look into the American Psycho Soundtrack: Impact and Influence


The American Psycho Soundtrack is far more than just a collection of songs. It’s a critical work of art that deserves recognition for shaping the tone, feel, and narrative path of the American Psycho film itself. This anthology of sounds vividly demonstrates how music can be used to strengthen storytelling, depict character transformation, and amplify emotional responses. In this comprehensive analysis of the American Psycho Soundtrack, we delve into the cultural and thematic elements encapsulated within the tracks and appreciate the unsettling genius behind this memorable compilation.

The Influence of Music on American Psycho’s Narrative and Mood

Music forms the emotional core of American Psycho. The various tunes, spanning from the upbeat pop hits to the darker, more introspective instrumentals, all contribute towards the narrative’s emotional subtleties, illuminating Patrick Bateman’s complex psyche through rich auditory experiences. The movie’s director, Mary Harron, made a thoughtfully precise selection of tracks that correspond perfectly with the film’s underlying themes.

The Soundtrack as a Reflection of the Protagonist’s Dual Nature

In American Psycho, the soundtrack is ingeniously utilized to mirror the protagonist’s dual nature. Just as Patrick Bateman’s life oscillates between appearances and reality, the songs swing between cheerful pop tunes and chilling instrumentals. The soundtracks, therefore, underline the protagonist’s superficial charm and underlying brutality, adding layers to his characterization.

How the Rock and Pop Culture of the 80s is Represented in the Soundtrack

The American Psycho Soundtrack beautifully depicts the 1980s music scene, carrying listeners back to the era of yesteryears. It creates a nostalgic auditory symbol of a culture defined by materialism and extravagance. Tracks by artists like David Bowie and The Cure evoke the era’s rock and pop culture, serving as homages to the music of the time.

Unraveling the Messages Behind the Tracks

Each song in the American Psycho soundtrack holds discreet meanings, often masked under catchy beats and feel-good melodies. Closer inspection reveals the layered messages behind these tracks, many of which subtly hint at societal complacency towards disturbing realities, mirroring the central antagonist Patrick Bateman in the process.

The Soundtrack’s Legacy and Modern Impact

In recent years, the American Psycho Soundtrack has garnered a cult following and inspired other music composers in their endeavours. It remains a testament to the power of musically narrating a story and has greatly influenced the way soundtracks are curated today. By embedding emotion into each note, it masterfully presents a narrative of the anti-hero, rendering an eerie rhythm to the beats of Bateman’s chaotic life.

Impact on Viewers and the Lasting Impression

The final component of our discussion emphasizes the lasting psychological impact the tracks leave on the audience. By constantly flipping the soundtrack’s mood, viewers become witnesses to the protagonist’s existential crisis, making their cinematic experience immersive and emotionally complex.


The American Psycho Soundtrack is a masterpiece that underscores the narrative’s tension, remains true to its era, and subtly unravels the complex psyche of its antagonistic protagonist. It remains etched in the minds of listeners for its dynamic range and depth, a symbol of the film’s unsettling harmony and a gentle reminder of the disturbing reality that society often snubs.

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