My favorite underrated horror movie is coming to Netflix – here’s why you should ignore its low Rotten Tomatoes rating

A still from the movie American Psycho in which Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is wearing a suit and looking at an axe.
(Image credit: Lionsgate Films)

With so many movies at our fingertips, it’s hard to know what to watch and often we rely on aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes to help but the lower the score, the more likely we are to skip it, unless it’s very low and morbid curiosity takes over. Sometimes it’s trickier, especially if critics and audiences disagree. This is the case for American Psycho, a movie I will go to bat for whenever the opportunity arises. 

I’ll do the same for the novel it's based on by Bret Easton Ellis, which received plenty of backlash at the time due to its exploration of some controversial topics. In my eyes, it’s a classic and a movie that horror fans in particular should absolutely watch, especially as it's part of everything new on Netflix in July 2024 in the US (those in Australia can already stream it). 

American Psycho’s critic rating is only 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means it doesn't make the cut for our best Netflix movies list (even though the audience gave it 85%), but it also doesn’t have a huge number of critic reviews logged, with only 154 entries at the time of writing. But if Christian Bale as an axe-wielding maniac dancing to Huey Lewis and the News while preparing to murder Jared Leto isn’t enough to convince you that it should be one of the best horror movies, there’s plenty more reasons you should add this to your watchlist. 

American Psycho (2000 Movie) Trailer - Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Chloe Sevigny - YouTube American Psycho (2000 Movie) Trailer - Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Chloe Sevigny - YouTube
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Why you should watch American Psycho 

Bale is joined by an all-star cast including Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux and Reese Witherspoon, so if a big cast influences you, there’s a brilliant one here. It was also directed by the brilliant Mary Harron, so it’s a win for female-directed horror. 

Speaking of, it is a little tricky to define exactly what genre American Psycho is. Many regard it as a dark comedy, satirical horror or thriller, and I’d agree with all of these. It’s equal parts bloody as it is hilarious, and it does a very good job of pointing fun at 1980s yuppie culture and consumerism, with an investment banker slash serial killer as the protagonist. 

It’s a truly unhinged performance from Christian Bale, miles away from what you might be used to seeing him in. Instead of being the caped crusader in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, he’s insufferable here in the best possible way. You’ll hate his character yet you won’t want to stop watching, and after all, isn’t a terrible protagonist often the most compelling?

Of course, we all have our preferences, and American Psycho won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s one every self-proclaimed movie lover should say they’ve watched at least once. Regardless of what you think, it’s one that sparks discussions even today.

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Lucy Buglass
Senior Entertainment Writer

Lucy is a long-time movie and television lover who is an approved critic on Rotten Tomatoes. She has written several reviews in her time, starting with a small self-ran blog called Lucy Goes to Hollywood before moving onto bigger websites such as What's on TV and What to Watch, with TechRadar being her most recent venture. Her interests primarily lie within horror and thriller, loving nothing more than a chilling story that keeps her thinking moments after the credits have rolled. Many of these creepy tales can be found on the streaming services she covers regularly.

When she’s not scaring herself half to death with the various shows and movies she watches, she likes to unwind by playing video games on Easy Mode and has no shame in admitting she’s terrible at them. She also quotes The Simpsons religiously and has a Blinky the Fish tattoo, solidifying her position as a complete nerd.