Louis Bloom – Nightcrawler (2014)
Louis Bloom is a textbook example of a psycho, yet he somehow manages also to be a version of a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the story, mostly because no one he interacts with actually takes the time to truly look at, yet another young man in the sea of people. Which may very well be another reason why the audience might have a soft spot for this scheming, remorseless ordinary guy. He spits on all the rules of the society, he fights, steals, manipulates, blackmails, and hold nothing sacred. All in the pursuit out of poverty.
Camera-holding dead-eyed entrepreneur is the newest psycho movie character, which is one of the reasons why he is both so devious and why we have a soft spot for him. Us, as viewers, understand how come this mysterious young man can act so predatorial and ruthless, seeing how it seem like that is the only road to success in an almost equally aggressive market. Through the omission of a background, his obsession with internet-provided education and high intelligence and resourcefulness, we can see that he was a neglected, unguided in his early years and have sympathy for the man he turned up to be.
Max Rockatansky – Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mental disorder? Check. Antisocial behavior? Check. Lack of ability to love or establish a meaningful personal relationship? Check. Max from the newest movie in the Mad Max movie is definitely seen as a hero, but obviously, he is also one of the psycho movie characters. Mumbling, dead-eyed pans, hallucinations, talking to himself and many other traits and acts show Max as a very troubled man. One might forget that his early actions are far from honorable, that some of his first moves were forced.
The whole story arc of the Fury Road is finding redemption, not primarily for the acts showed in this movie, but for those things that are implied. Even though Max shows bits of recovery from his state by sacrificing himself for others numerous times, showing sympathy and affection, in the end, his psychosis can’t be shaken so easily. After all, he is Mad Max, not curably mentally ill Max. But he does enough for the audiences to respect and like him.
Joker – The Dark Knight (2008)
It takes a special performance to make a comic book villain endearing as they are almost exclusively pure evil, driven by solely rotten motives, and campy. And Joker is the main villain of the darkest (super)hero – Batman. Joker displays signature psychotic behavior in Christopher Nolan’s movie as he is a mass murderer and does acts of killing as effortlessly as brushing teeth. He also tries, in particular, to bring out the worst in everyday people, a common trait of psychopaths who want to think that everyone is as troubled as they are. Targeting hospitals, heroes, praying on the weak, wearing a terrifying mask and living for chaos are all other additional blood freezing actions that the Joker does. Buuuuut..
It’s not only the supporting role Oscar-worthy performance by Heath Ledger that makes Joker a likeable psycho movie character, a lot of it goes to the writing. Firstly, the Joker is a liked psycho movie character because brings a lot of comedy into an otherwise bleak world. Secondly, he is above the quest for money which fuels other criminals of Gotham. Regardless of how wild it is, the scarred man has a particular code, different from the majority. And lastly, as he says so himself, he’s just a dog, chasing cars, not knowing what he would do with one if he caught it. He is one of a kind people that doesn’t try controlling everybody.