9 erotic thrillers that will suck you in

Get the Full StoryGrab your magnifying glass and get ready to investigate as Mashable uncovers Big Little Mysteries.Weeks ago, a friend came over to watch the 1992 hit Basic Instinct. We had both seen it before and, thus, chatted and joked around as the first few plot points unfolded.Until the famous interrogation scene, that is. Then, witnessing Sharon Stone's character Catherine wrap a room of cops around her finger, we fell silent. We were enraptured. The moment exemplified why erotic thrillers like Basic Instinct are the perfect movie-length escape perhaps from the pandemic, or whatever else our doomsday reality throws at you. Erotic thrillers are sexy yet campy, melodramatic yet quiet. One scene you're tense, the next you're laughing, the next you're horny. Many of the top erotic thrillers are decades old at this point, however, and for many the age shows. Take Dressed to Kill, a 1980 fore-bearer of the genre, whose entire plot hinges on a transphobic twist. Thankfully, however, there are other erotic thrillers that remain relevant.This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a primer for those who want to see the best of the category without wading through the muck of B-list bombs. 1. Basic InstinctBasic Instinct is considered the crown jewel of erotic thriller, and with good reason. The movie is a play-by-play of what makes the genre great. The plot is a juicy mystery of whether a novelist committed a murder described in detail in her last book, with enough twists to keep the viewer guessing until the final moments. The main actors, Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, are erotic thriller royalty. But Basic Instinct isn't without its flaws, and they may deter some viewers. One sex scene, for instance, has dubious consent between the characters. Secondly, actress Sharon Stone said director Paul Verhoeven tricked her into showing her vulva in the interrogation scene, which Verhoeven denied. Verhoeven did get some retribution at the time, though. As Stone wrote in her recent memoir, "I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer." Regardless, her vulva made it into the final cut.You can stream Basic Instinct on HBO Max.2. Fatal Attraction If there's another paragon of the genre, it's 1987's Fatal Attraction. Featuring Michael Douglas and a different blonde this time Glenn Close this movie is an overall classic. Michael Douglas plays a husband and father named Dan who has a weekend tryst with another woman, Alex Close , who turns out to be obsessed with him. Infidelity is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a common theme in erotic thriller.As the movie goes on, Alex sets out to ruin Dan. The result is a high-paced cat and mouse game that'll have you choking on your popcorn by the end. Again, like many of these movies, Fatal Attraction reads differently in 2021. Glenn Close was never happy that critics and audiences saw Alex as a super-villain psychopath. Rather, Close believes Alex to be a deeply distressed woman. As I watch the movie today, I keep Close's read of her character in mind. You can rent Fatal Attraction on Prime Video for 3.99.3. Body HeatLike Dressed to Kill, Body Heat is an early erotic thriller only this 1981 film isn't nearly as problematic. Instead, Body Heat is a sexy and sweaty film about a woman who cheats on her husband and later murders him with the help of her lover.Body Heat is the perfect watch for when you're wistful for summer. It takes place during a Florida heat wave, and the characters can't stop talking about how hot it is or how damp they are. Whatever the filmmakers did to make everyone look drenched worked; the thriller may as well have been filmed in our current climate disaster-ridden existence. Watch Body Heat to see where actress Kathleen Turner launched her career, and to discover an ending that's still satisfying four decades later.You can stream Body Heat on HBO Max.4. Indecent ProposalA movie about infidelity, again! This one stars Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson as a down-on-their-luck married couple in need of cash. After bombing at a Vegas roulette table and losing all their money, a billionaire offers them his titular indecent proposal: pay one million dollars to spend a night with Moore's character, Diana.Diana and her husband David refuse, but the proposal nonetheless sends waves through their marriage. The billionaire, in typical billionaire fashion tries to get everything they want and doesn't leave them alone. The premise may sound ridiculous, but the film takes it seriously and thus we, the audience, do too.The premise also lives beyond this movie. For a gender-bent Indecent Proposal, check out season one of the Netflix show What If. You can stream Indecent Proposal on Starz.5. DisclosureDemi Moore stars in another erotic thriller with the genre's king, Michael Douglas. In Disclosure, Douglas plays Tom, a manager expecting to receive a big promotion, but his ex-girlfriend Meredith Moore is hired for the role instead. The plot unfolds into a too-familiar story of sexual harassment, but Disclosure subverts expectations: Meredith attacks Tom. The film grapples with questions about workplace harassment and gender roles that are still painfully relevant over 25 years later.You can rent Disclosure on YouTube for 3.99.6. Body of EvidenceBody of Evidence stars Madonna as a femme fatale embroiled in a murder trial of the millionaire she was surprise having an affair with. Her weapon? Her body. Her lawyer, played by Willem Dafoe, has to manage both her advances and defending her case. In addition to a murder mystery, there's lots of talk about cocaine and sex that's typical of the erotic thriller genre.Body of Evidence is easily the most camp on this list, and the least loved by critics; it was on Roger Ebert's most hated films list, if that's any indication. Don't watch Body of Evidence if you're looking for brilliant plot or acting, but in 2021 it's still an entertaining story with some softcore scenes to boot. You can stream Body of Evidence for free on Pluto TV.7. Eyes Wide ShutThe lore around this 1999 film may be as well known as the story itself. Eyes Wide Shut stars then-married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as fictional husband and wife, which in itself is reason to watch. Their characters, Bill and Alice, have such frank conversations about their sex life and fantasies one must wonder whether it was awkward on set Cruise and Kidman divorced two years after the movie's release .After one of these conversations where Alice reveals she considered having an affair before Bill stumbles into a secret society's masquerade orgy. As expected, sex and murder and intrigue ensue. The imagery of Eyes Wide Shut is so iconic that it's actually influenced sex clubs today...though, from experience, I can say the fictional parties are much more unsettling. You can stream Eyes Wide Shut on Showtime.8. The HandmaidenNo, this isn't a classic late-twentieth century thriller but it's a twisty, mindmeldy movie that has all the fixings for one. The Handmaiden is a 2016 Korean thriller set in 1900s Korea, when the nation was under Japanese rule. At the start, a swindler enlists the help of a pickpocket to try to seduce a Japanese heiress, trick her into marrying him, and then commit her to an asylum to steal her inheritance. See also: The best dating sites, and how much each one costsFrom there, the movie sets off into a winding tale of deceit, murder, and queer! sex. Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz called The Handmaiden a puzzle, which is the perfect description. When all the pieces finally wedge into place by the end, it is endlessly gratifying. You can stream The Handmaiden on Amazon Prime.9. Gone GirlIf you're not interested in the mid-century modern sets and soft-light aesthetic of classic erotic thrillers, I don't get it but nonetheless, Gone Girl may be a better pick for you. This 2014 film, based on the 2012 novel of the same name, will keep you guessing until it lets you in on its explosive secret. The story follows a husband played by actor and meme Ben Affleck trying to find his wife Rosamund Pike who disappeared on their fifth wedding anniversary. He's then quickly accused of her murder.Gone Girl's twist undermines the often tragic story of femicide, even with its unsettling plot points and turns akin to earlier erotic thrillers.You can stream Gone Girl on Hulu.Whichever movie you start with, know you're in for an emotional and horny rollercoaster.

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