Relapse | American Psycho author making his directorial debut with a monster movie

Bret Easton Ellis Relapse
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Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, is turning his hand to filmmaking with his directorial debut Relapse – a monster movie and “elevated horror.”

The gorier excesses of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial novel American Psycho were tamed by director Mary Harron in 1999, with a star-making turn by Christian Bale as the sociopathic Wall Street exec, Patrick Bateman.

Almost 40 years into his literary career, Ellis is himself turning his hand to directing, with his debut being Relapse – an “elevated horror film” which will star Stranger Things actor Joseph Quinn.

Elsewhere in Variety’s exclusive, the project is described as a “monster movie” albeit one set in the milieu long favoured by Ellis in his earlier work – among the rich, young and picturesque elites of Los Angeles. Here’s a synopsis:

“Fueled by his unstable personality and the invading power of social media, Matt’s paranoia grows, messing up with his rehabilitation program. As he starts using again, a mysterious presence starts growing around Matt, and a monster that has been haunting him since he was a teenager reveals itself. His therapist tries to help, convinced that the monster is actually in Matt’s head.”

Although that paragraph might imply that Relapse’s monster is metaphorical, it’ll have a very physical presence in the film, with DDT SFX – which previously worked on Pan’s Labyrinth for Guillermo del Toro and most recently JA Bayona's Society Of The Snow – handling the creature. One of Relapse's producers draws parallels between Relapse’s monster and those seen in The Thing and Alien. It should be a pretty cool-looking critter, in other words.

Although best known as a novelist, Ellis has skirted around the film industry for several years now. Among his screenwriting you’ll find his script for Paul Schrader’s calamitous 2013 erotic thriller, The Canyons, and 2020’s slasher thriller Smiley Face Killers, which saw Crispin Glover play a hooded serial murderer.

More on Relapse as we get it.

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