When Bateman has guests over to his apartment, his main objective is to have total control and power over them. This is especially relevant when he has Christie and Sabrina over. He gives those names to each of them upon their arrival. He wants to control what the girls look like, what they do, and how they act. With the girls on the couch, Bateman puts Phil Collins on and proceeds in his critic-like response of the CD, adding to his control over the scene. The three move to the bedroom and he gets a video camera out as he continues his review of the CD. He is playing a director and lead actor, making his own pornographic movie. One shot that suggests this is a medium close-up of Bateman with his eye on the eyepiece of the video camera. With his eye still locked in, he tells the girls what to do. Throughout the scene he looks at the camera and tells the girls to look at the camera too. At one point Christie waves to the camera, unknowing of what's to come. He wants everything to be perfect, but when he wakes from his sleep, the viewer realizes that something is wrong. He goes to his drawer of tools, and the girls walk out the door crying and wounded.
Bateman does this a second time with Christie, and a new "friend" Elizabeth. His money gets Christie back into the limo even though she "had to go to the emergency room after last time." He gets them both into Paul Allen's apartment and has them drink drug-infused wine. He controls the information that Elizabeth knows about Christie. He wants to "see the two of them get it on." He then watches them make out on the couch while giving another critic-like description -- this time of Whitney Houston's CD -- ignoring Elizabeth's mockery of him. He is in control of the mood of the scenario, with the music and the commentary. The scene quickly shifts to the violence of the bedroom. Moving towards the film's climax, the moments to come represent his inability to control his own thirst for murder. Christie tries to sneak out as blood spatters from under the sheet. Bateman chases her down with the chain saw and drops it on her before she is able to escape his grip. The tripod of the camera is just barely visible in the scene, but it once again shows his need to be a director and in control. This time he was unable to fully control himself.
At the end Bateman wants reactions from people, so he confesses his murders on the answering machine of his lawyer. Bateman's control over his world is slowly vanishing; the carpet is being swept from under his feet. He lived off the control he had over everything in his realm, from the murders, his home, his secretary, and his knowledge for the materialistic and mundane. That is the main point of the voice over at the end of the film. He has no control over what is going to happen, and it will not stop. Nothing, not even himself, can stop it. He finally realizes he has no control over the way he is or the state of things around him. With that realization comes the final moments of Bateman's existence in American Psycho.
Bateman's attempts to talk to his lawyer Harold Carnes lead to nowhere. Bateman's hysteria lead him to believe that his lawyer knows who is he or cares what he's done but, "in the world of American Psycho, superficially slick but hallow characters such as Carnes are too self-absorbed to listen to another's words and too vapid to realize their content" (Simpson, 151). After Bateman's failed attempt to talk to his layer, he goes back to his group of Wall Street yuppies to give his last address to the viewer. The camera pans around the restaurant focusing in and out on different strangers. The camera pushes in on Bateman's face as he states in a voice over:
|"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the viscous and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused, and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."
The film ends with a shot moving into an extreme close-up on Bateman's eyes, reflecting the idea that the story was told through his perspective. His final comment leaves the viewer with a moment to reflect the story as a whole, or to reflect on its purpose. But according to Bateman there was no purpose.