About Basic Instinct
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Basic Instinct was a hugely successful erotically charged thriller that starred Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone.
It kicks off with the death of a rockstar who Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is having sex with and is a suspect of his murder. As the Detectives investigate further this cat and mouse game of deceit, mistrust and sex is played out between between Catherine and Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas). This is the film that both saved Sharon Stone’s career and also catapulted her into mainstream success.
During a recent re-watch I started to think of all the other movies like Basic Instinct who some of you may want to tick off your bucket list. Below are my 21 picks. How many have you seen? Let me know in the comments.
RELATED: 11 Best Catherine Tramell quotes from Basic Instinct
1. Sliver (1993)
Directed by Phillip Noyce, Sliver stars Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger, and Martin Landau. It was released in the year 1993.
An erotic thriller, Sliver follows a woman named Carly who moves into an exclusive New York sliver building called “113.” Carly starts a sexual relationship with one of the other building’s tenant, Zeke, who turns out to be the owner of the entire building. It turns out that Zeke has video monitoring equipment rigged up to every apartment and so can view every decadent and sordid fight and love affair that goes down. Even if one of them dies. This turns the affair between Zeke and Carly quite toxic and things go from bad to worse.
2. Fatal Attraction (1987)
Directed by Adrian Lyne, Fatal Attraction stars Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. It was released in the year 1987.
Fatal Attraction follows lawyer Daniel “Dan” Gallagher who starts an affair with publishing editor Alexandra “Alex” Forrest. Afterwards, they spend a day together and she then starts to manipulate him by first cutting his wrists and then turning up to place of work. With Alex clearly threatening his work and happily married life, Dan decides to take care of her in his own way.
3. Disclosure (1994)
Directed by Barry Levinson, Disclosure stars Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland, Caroline Goodall, and Dennis Miller. It was released in the year 1994.
When Tom, an employee at Tech company DigiCom, is passed over for a promotion by his ex-girlfriend, Meredith. Later when she calls him into his office she asks to engage in oral sex and then when she wants to have sex with Tom he says no. Meredith then screams and says he sexually assaulted her. The rest of the film then follows Tom and his attempt to save his job and his career.
4. Showgirls (1995)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Showgirls stars Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi, Alan Rachins, and Gina Ravera. It was released in the year 1995.
Showgirls is an erotic thriller where loner Naomi Malone hitchhikes to Los Angeles with dreams of being a showgirl. However, Nomi has a conservative view on what is and what isn’t sex work. A fact which is challenged by her roommate Cristal who works at a topless bar. This then starts Nomi down a path of beginning to understand just how decadent and perverse the showgirl scene can get. Undeterred, Nomi will do anything to achieve her dream, and this lands her in trouble as the film progresses.
5. Jade (1995)
Directed by William Friedkin, Jade stars David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Biehn, and Richard Crenna. It was released in the year 1995.
When prominent businessman Kyle Medford is found murdered with an antique hatchet, Assistant District Attorney David Corelli is brought in to look at the case. Eventually it’s discovered that several prostitutes including this woman named Jade were brought in to have sex with a bunch of men including the Governer. As one of the prostitute is implicated by one of the men he is suddenly killed and suddenly the mystery get deep, dark and chilling.
6. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Directed and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut stars Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, and Marie Richardson. It was released in the year 1999.
Eyes Wide Shut follows a doctor who is shocked when his wife reveals that she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier. He then embarks on a night-long adventure, during which he infiltrates a masked orgy of an unnamed secret society.
Eyes Wide Shut was also the last film that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were in before their famous divorce which adds a layer of bizarre and creepy to the mix.
7. Cruel Intentions (1999)
Directed and written by Roger Kumble, Cruel Intentions stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair. It was released in the year 1999.
Cruel Intentions follows privileged teenager Sebastian who makes a deal with his step sister, Kathryn, that if he’s able to seduce Cecile, that Kathryn will have sex with Sebastian. If he fails then Kathryn gets Sebastian’s Jaguar XK140. Unfortunately, as Sebastian starts to seduce Cecile he begins to fall for her.
8. Indecent Proposal (1993)
Directed by Adrian Lyne, Indecent Proposal stars Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, and Seymour Cassel. It was released in the year 1993.
When a couple, David and Diana, desperately need $50,000 to stop their house from being repossessed they head to Las Vegas to win the money. While David wins big on their first night there, he loses all the money they won on the second night and it’s during this time they notice high roller Gage winning big. Gage confronts them with a proposal that he spends a night with Diana and in return he’ll give them $1 million dollars. While it’s short time relief and helps them save their house, it has everlasting consequences on their relationship.
9. Unfaithful (2002)
Directed by Adrian Lyne, Unfaithful stars Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan, and Ahmad Harhash. It was released in the year 2002.
Based on the French film “The Unfaithful Wife”, Unfaithful follows the story of a couple living in New York City whose marriage goes starts to unravel when the wife indulges in an affair with a stranger she encounters completely at random.
10. Poison Ivy (1992)
Directed by Katt Shea, Poison Ivy stars Tom Skerritt, Sara Gilbert, Cheryl Ladd, and Drew Barrymore. It was released in the year 1992.
Poison Ivy is about an emotionally neglected young woman named Ivy who becomes sexually obsessed with her friend Sylvie’s father. As Ivy starts to involve herself in the life of Sylvie and her family she begins to orchestrate ways to be alone with Sylvie’s father which begins to spin out of control.
11. Fatal Instinct (1993)
Directed by Carl Reiner, Fatal Instinct stars Armand Assante, Sherilyn Fenn, Kate Nelligan, Sean Young, and Tony Randall. It was released in the year 1993.
Firstly, I think it’s worth mentioning that despite the similar name, Fatal Instinct has absolutely nothing to do with the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. Fatal Instinct is about a man named Ned, who is both a police officer and a lawyer, who believes he knows everything there is to learn about women. As a mysterious woman named Lola asks him to look into a case he starts an affair with her, his wife Lana and the mechanic she’s having an affair with plot to kill him, while at the same time a recently released prisoner also plans to kill Ned.
Let’s face it: it’s pretty unlucky if your name is Ned Ravine.
12. A Perfect Murder (1998)
Directed by Andrew Davis, A Perfect Murder stars Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen, David Suchet, and Sarita Choudhury. It was released in the year 1998.
A Perfect Murder is a loose remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder as most of the characters names have been changed and it’s also based on the play by Frederick Knott. The film mainly focuses on Steven Taylor, a Wall Street banker married to a woman 20 years younger than him, Emily, who is secretly having an affair with a man named David. Unfortunately for Steven, he’s recently made some bad investments and requires access to Emily’s fortune to cover his losses, and Emily is also considering on leaving him.
Meanwhile, David, the man sleeping with Emily, is revealed to be a conway who swindles rich women of their money. A fact which Steven knows about and will use to manipulate the cheating pair to get what he wants.
13. Goodbye Lover (1998)
Directed by Roland Joffé, Goodbye Lover stars Patricia Arquette, Dermot Mulroney, Ellen DeGeneres, Mary-Louise Parker, and Don Johnson. It was released in the year 1998.
This neo-noir comedy film takes the mickey on erotically charged thrillers – whether it wants to or not. It focuses on a group of seemingly normal people who are leading double lives which involve drunken debauchery, affairs and revenge. Eventually, all of it spirals out of control when a hitman and a sizeable amount $2.5 million dollars gets thrown into its sordid synopsis. Yes, Ellen DeGeneres is in the movie but we won’t hold that against it.
The pay-off at the end is totally worth it.
14. Point of No Return (1993)
Directed by John Badham, Point of No Return stars Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, Anne Bancroft, and Harvey Keitel. It was released in the year 1993.
Everyone who was watching films in the 90s remembers that iconic movie poster of Bridget Fonda in a black dress, holding a revolver and looking back at you with that seductive look. Well, Point of No Return was the film in which she is convicted of murdering a police officer and is about to be executed but her death is faked and she is then turned into a one woman killing machine via martial arts, firearms training and computer hacking (such as it was in the 90s).
Point of No Return is easily amongst the top 5 flicks on this list.
15. Wicker Park (2004)
Directed by Paul McGuigan, Wicker Park stars Josh Hartnett, Rose Byrne, Diane Kruger, Matthew Lillard, Jessica Paré, and Christopher Cousins. It was released in the year 2004.
Wicker Park is a dark romantic thriller about Matt and Lisa who are kept apart by the scheming of another woman named Alex who knows both of them. Wicker Park is quite sinister as it shows the lengths someone will go to (when obsession and jealousy takes hold )in order to keep two others apart. The film is paired with an equally haunting soundtrack, with artists like Mogwai, Danny Lohner (ex-Nine Inch Nails), Snow Patrol and Death Cab for Cutie contributing their more somber tracks.
16. Consenting Adults (1992)
Directed by Alan J. Pakula, Consenting Adults stars Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey, Rebecca Miller, E. G. Marshall, and Forest Whitaker. It was released in the year 1992.
The tagline of Consenting Adults was “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife” and that’s exactly what this film about. A mystery crime-thrilller, Consenting Adults follows Richard and his wife Priscilla who become friends with another couple; Eddy and Kay. Unfortunately, things go from civil to worse when it becomes clear that Eddy is a conman and Richard sleeps with Kay, which in turn ends up with Kay dead the next morning and the remaining trio not clear who did it.
If any film highlights why you shouldn’t trust overly friendly neighbours, it’s Alan J. Pakula’s Consenting Adults.
17. Swimfan (2002)
Directed by John Polson, Swimfan stars Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen, Shiri Appleby, Kate Burton, and Dan Hedaya. It was released in the year 2002.
Swimfan is about a popular student named Ben who’s on the school swim team. When he meets new girl, Madison, she becomes infatuated with him, despite him having a girlfriend. Gradually she begins to insert herself into his life and the two of them have sex after school hours in the swimming pool. Her infatuation eventually turns into obsession and will do anything to be with him.
Even if she has to kill off the girlfriend.
18. Devil in the Flesh (1998)
Directed by Steve Cohen, Devil in the Flesh stars Rose McGowan, Alex McArthur, Peg Shirley, J.C. Brandy, Phil Morris, Robert Silver, Sherrie Rose, and Ryan Bittle. It was released in the year 1998.
Devil in the Flesh is an erotic thriller about an unhinged and beautiful teen named Debbie Strand. After her mother dies in a fire, Debbie is sent to live with her grandmother and while she’s there she becomes obsessed with her English teacher, Peter, at her new school – who already has a fiancee.
And just like these films go: Debbie won’t let a little thing like a fianceé stand in her way.
19. Heart of Midnight (1988)
Directed and written by Matthew Chapman, Heart of Midnight stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Peter Coyote, Brenda Vaccaro, Steve Buscemi, and Frank Stallone. It was released in the year 1988.
Heart of Midnight follows a young woman named Carol who has a troubled past and a hard time dealing with the reality of her new surroundings. She inherits a closed nightclub which used to be a brothel and while she’s changing three seedy men see this as an invitation to invite themselves in and assault her. However, the third one fights off the other two, allowing the opportunity for Carol to escape.
When she reports this to the police they don’t believe her version of events (surprise, surprise!) she begins to question her own memories and version of events. Even questioning her own grips on reality.
20. The Crush (1993)
Directed by Alan Shapiro, The Crush stars Cary Elwes, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Rubin, and Kurtwood Smith. It was released in the year 1993.
We’re so used to seeing Alicia Silverstone in movies like Clueless or in Batman and Robin that everyone seems to forget her debut role in The Crush as Darian Forrester. A 14 year old girl who becomes obsessed with a tenant of her parent’s house, Nick, which ranges from harmless flirting to having him arrested for sexual assault.
Much like Basic Instinct; The Crush is a wild ride.
21. Hard Candy (2005)
Directed by David Slade, Hard Candy stars Patrick Wilson, Elliot Page, Sandra Oh, and Jennifer Holmes. It was released in the year 2005.
Hard Candy is probably the most visceral movie on this list. It focuses on a 14 year old vigilante who suspects a man of being a predator and so traps and tortures him.
Thematically; this film is quite brutal.
What did you think of this list of ‘Movies like Basic Instinct’?
What did you think of Basic Instinct? Have you seen any of these films before?
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