About Cruel Intentions
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.
After a recent re-watch I put together this list of movies like Cruel Intentions. Have you ticked any off your bucket list?
1. American Beauty (1999)
Written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes, American Beauty stars Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley and Chris Cooper. It was released in the year 1999.
American Beauty depicts the story of Lester Burnham, a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Tired of his boring, stagnant existence, he lets go of his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, responsibility-shirking teenager. What follows is at once cynical, hysterical, and, eventually, tragically uplifting.
2. Basic Instinct (1992)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Basic Instinct was a hugely successful erotically charged thriller that starred Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. It was released in the year 1992.
It starts with the death of a rockstar who Catherine Tramell 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. This is the film that both saved Sharon Stone’s career but also catapulted her into mainstream success.
3. Gone Girl (2014)
Written by Gillian Flynn and directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Carrie Coon. It was released in the year 2014.
Gone Girl centres on a husband and wife in which the wife disappears without a trace and the whole community (including the media) suspect foul play at the hands of the wife. The film then pivots to reveal that the wife isn’t actually dead and that the husband is far from the “good guy” type we were introduced to at the start of the film. Thanks to the score from Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and his writing partner Atticus Ross there’s an eeriness to Gone Girl which only an impressive score like this could deliver.
4. 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.
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 Governor. When one of the prostitutes is implicated by one of the men he is suddenly killed and suddenly the mystery gets deep, dark and chilling.
6. 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.
7. Fear (1996)
Directed by James Foley, Fear is a psychological thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen, Alyssa Milano and Amy Brenneman. It was released in the year 1996.
Fear is about Reese Witherspoon’s character, Nicole, who begins dating an attractive stranger, David played by Mark Wahlberg. When Wahlberg’s disregards Nicole’s curfew and has sex with her, this outrages her father and the two get into a fight. She then breaks up with David as a result but he manipulates her into believing that her father started the fight. Pretty soon this is followed up by a series of red flags and cunning manipulation where David becomes psychotically violent.
8. 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.
9. Wild Things (1998)
Written by Stephen Peters and directed by John McNaughton, Wild Things stars Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Theresa Russell, Denise Richards, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robert Wagner and Bill Murray. It was released in the year 1998.
Wild Things is an erotically charged neo-noir thriller which follows a school counselor who is accused of rape by two insatiably alluring female students. It then follows the police officer as he begins to investigate the alleged crime.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. The Rules of Attraction
Written and directed by Roger Avary, The Rules of Attraction stars James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Kip Pardue, Jessica Biel, Ian Somerhalder, Clifton Collins Jr., Thomas Ian Nicholas, Swoosie Kurtz and Faye Dunaway. It was released in the year 2002.
The Rules of Attraction is based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1987 novel of the same name and follows three Camden College students who become involved in a love triangle with a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate. And in good college form, things spiral out of control.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Cruel Intentions 2 (2002)
Written and directed by Roger Kumble, Cruel Intentions 2 stars Robin Dunne, Sarah Thompson, Keri Lynn Pratt and Amy Adams. It was released in the year 2001.
Cruel Intentions 2 is the second film in the Cruel Intentions series but is a prequel which explores how Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil first met and started their reign of sexual exploitation and terror on their fellow classmates. Originally planned as a TV series called “Manchester Prep,” it was picked up by Fox and then cancelled after two episodes. Those two episodes were then edited together and re-packaged as “Cruel Intentions 2.”
So if you think Cruel Intentions 2 has that midday movie vibe to it then you know why!
What did you think of this list of movies like Cruel Intentions?
Do any of these movies remind you of Cruel Intentions? Do you own any of them on DVD or VHS?
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