Fatal Attraction (1987)

Fatal Attraction (1987)

A classic in the erotic thriller genre spearheaded by two great performances of Hollywood's then best



United States of America
Drama, Thriller
Anna Thomson, Anne Archer, Barbara Harris
119 min


The anti-affair preventive medicine you want to show your partner asap.

What it's about

The life of successful lawyer Daniel Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is about to change when he decides to have an affair with the mysterious Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) while his wife is away for the weekend.

The take

British director Adrian Lyne (9 1/2 Weeks) is famous for his uncompromising treatment of seedy eroticism and charged stories. Fatal Attraction is a staple of the erotic thriller genre and with good reason, it's steamy and very 1980s in the best possible way. Like a good vintage, it has the whiff of old times, but with the pleasure of a spectacle that belongs to the past. That's the lens through which you can view the story of a deranged mistress who won't stop at anything to ruin your life and marriage, and still savour some sanity in the 21st century. Seen from a slightly removed perspective, the film becomes a stylized variation on conservative AIDS panic and a provocation to conservative heteronormativity. It has to be said that not all of the film has aged well, especially the gender politics at play. But if you can soothe yourself with a revisionist reading, it pairs well with Paul Verhoeven's Basic Instinct: the things Michael Douglas's characters do for (extramarital) thrills...

What stands out

Even though Glenn Close was nominated for an Oscar for the role of Alex, she tried to protest against the vilifying of her character. Alex Forrest symbolized a man's biggest nightmare and the audiences loved to see her suffer. In this case, the Oscar nomination might have been a sort of a poison chalice: Close was celebrated for a villain role she never aligned with. That said, her Alex is stupendous, a woman full of energy and vigor, a darting eye and actually, a truth speaker. Today, the monologues where she accuses Dan of using her and turning against her because she demands respect she rightfully deserves, ring true and resemble less a rant than a necessary calling out. Today, Alex Forrest deserves reappraisal as a character who protested the chains of patriarchy and projected male desire that early on. 


Add a comment




Einstein and the Bomb (2024)

A dramatized depiction of Einstein’s own words against Nazism


Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama


The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.


The Guilty (2018)

A minimalist, razor-sharp thriller that will have you gasping for air.


Thank You, I’m Sorry (2023)

Estranged sisters reconnect amidst grief and bizarre comedy in this understated Swedish drama


Leave the World Behind (2023)

Shyamalan meets Black Mirror in this hugely entertaining, visually inventive apocalyptic thriller with a killer ending


Last Call for Istanbul (2023)

A seemingly generic Turkish romance travel film, until it gets into its second half


System Crasher (2019)

A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.


As If It’s True (2023)

A tragicomic character study of Gen Z’s aspirational goal


Saltburn (2023)

A black comedy of perilous desire that's perfectly acted and rightfully unhinged


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.