Sigma Films

Analysis of Sigma Cinema


Madeline Dorau, Assistant Editor

   Everybody knows the classical genres of film; horror, romance, comedy… This one is called ‘sigma cinema’. Taken rise to popularity due to our generation’s self-deprecating obsession with ‘mentally ill characters. Although this obsession is not entirely bad (as it has brought much more awareness and normalization), we now are romanticizing this and overidentifying ourselves too far- stretched pop culture characters who are represented as psycho or mad. 

   Sigma cinema is not entirely branded off of mentally ill characters, but also plays into a character who rejects society and is most of the time, independent in their own reality, seeing that all of the world has turned against them. Most sigma characters are also incredibly egotistical and or have a narcissistic personality disorder. For example, Patrick Bateman from American Psycho was written as a description for NPD. He has an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement, needing validation from everyone around him. He lacks any emotion towards others, even admitting it in the end dialogue, but pretends to care about worldly issues. 


   Not just that, sigma cinema is almost mostly surrounding male characters. There are a few characters that probably came to your mind; Patrick Bateman from American Psycho who is a yuppie wall street banker obsessed with fitting in but at the same time, wanting to be noticed and live out his sadistic serial killer fantasies, Arthur Fleck from Joker, Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club– there are many more.

   Some well-known films that would fall into this genre would be; American Psycho; a sadistic character trying to fit into the yuppie society of new york, Fight Club; an insomniac man who befriends a soap maker and they create a fight club, Nightcrawler; a man obsessed with filming violent events and selling the tapes to new stations, Drive; a stunt driver moonlights as a getaway driver, involving him in dangerous situations, Joker; the origin story of the Joker, Breaking Bad; a chemistry teacher and his student start a drug business together, Taxi Driver; a veteran serves as a taxi driver in new york but is faced with his violence, Wolf On Wall Street; the true story of a man going up as broke stocker and getting involved with drugs, money, and women, Scarface; a man fueled by obsession, glory, and drugs to become Miami’s drug lord, Se7en; two detectives’ investigation leads them into a gory world of murder