It's that time of year again, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. That wonderful time where you and that special certain someone in your life are allowed to get a little romantic, a little passionate, and celebrate your personal and intimate partnership. Whether you plan on going out for an expensive candlelit meal or curling up on your faux bear rug in front of a roaring fire wearing your favorite PJ's with some cheese and wine, you no doubt need something a little steamy to watch. With Fifty Shades Freed whipping and slapping its way onto cinema screens this weekend, we wanted to offer our readers a healthy list of alternatives that are, you know, actually good.
So get ready to Blu-ray-and-chill with our list of 10 Steamy Thrillers For Valentine's Day That Are WAY Better Than The Fifty Shades Trilogy:
Yeah, we know, this gem of 90s excess is a bit tried and true, basic if you will, but that doesn't mean it has lost any of its steam. Featuring Michael Douglas and Sharron Stone in their prime, this Paul Verhoeven directed thriller plays with the meat and potatoes of a typical murder mystery but spices things up with numerous lusty bits that'll keep you and your significant other entertained - in between the horrifying stabbing scenes! It's a decent Blu-ray release and well worth giving a spin.
When you stir up sex, lust, deceit into a pot with a dash of Chan-wook Park's signature flair for visual panache you have the makings of a tight and tense historical drama. Thanks to some committed performances, the film is an intricate and dramatic thriller in the tradition of Dangerous Liaisons with plenty of intrigue and seductively steamy moments to hold your interest. The picture and audio quality are fantastic and will play nicely on your home theater setup.
If you take a moment to think about 80s era sexy thrillers, it's impossible not to think of Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill starring the beautiful Angie Dickinson alongside Nancy Allen and Michael Caine. In between revealing and literal steamy shower scenes, there is an intricate and unnerving psycho-killer thriller played throughout this suspenseful film. Not only is it one of De Palma's best films, it's one of the greatest Erotic Thrillers committed to film. Don't pass up the terrific Criterion Collection release.
After The Godfather and Scarface, Al Pacino had a tough time in the mid-80s. This 1989 thriller from Harold Becker brought Pachino back to top form in a big way. He's a tough New York cop investigating a string of gory murders where the killer stalks the personal ads. All Pachino has to do is lure the killer. Things get complicated, and more than a little interesting when Ellen Barkin answers the ad. The two clearly had some impressive on-screen chemistry. While the movie may be a bit generic, it's better than average and makes for a great evening of entertainment.
If you're in the mood for a sexy horror film with some vampire bloodletting, don't turn to Twilight. Tony Scott's 1983 erotic horror/thriller The Hunger has more than enough bite for your night. Starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon, this kinky love triangle is 97-minutes of stylized 80s flair with a slick horror story wrapped up inside. It may have been a bit of a flop upon initial release, it's grown into a true cult classic. The Warner Archive Blu-ray is a terrific release and you won't regret giving it a spin.
Cast a movie with Nicole Kidman, Alec Baldwin (the thin years), and genuine everyman Bill Pullman, toss in a medical malpractice plot with a strange interlude into with a serial killer and you have a wild ride of an early 90s thriller. Another entry from Harold Becker boasting a decent script from dialogue maestro Aaron Sorkin and you have a better than average erotic thriller on your hands. There are certainly enough twists and turns to keep you and your special person guessing.
In all honesty, you can't have a list of Erotic Thrillers with only one Michael Douglas movie. The man practically built his career on them and this thriller from director Adrian Lyne and co-starring Glenn Close and Anne Archer is a staple of 1980s thrillers. It's creepy, kinky, and makes you rethink ever owning a pet rabbit and having an affair with someone you hardly know. While it may fall a bit heavy on the "Man is the victim" category, Close delivers one hell of a creepy performance providing two hours of tense entertainment.
The 80s was a saucy time, to say the least! Also directed by Adrian Lyne and starring the sultry Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke before all of the plastic surgery, this was the signature steamy thriller that easily puts the Fifty Shades films to shame. It may be a bit light on thrills, but there is plenty of kink to make up for the rather barebones plotting. Its attractive stars do more than enough heavy lifting - so to speak - to hold your attention.
Based on the hit Gillian Flynn novel, David Fincher crafts an intricate and absorbing murder mystery thriller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. While this film may rely on smart storytelling, plotting, and it's core focus on the frenzy of a media circus, there's more than enough here to hold your attention. It's a classy stab at the erotic thriller genre by a master filmmaker who knows how to keep you guessing.
David Lynch is no slouch when it comes to crafting labyrinthian thrillers with so many twists and turns that you need a Google Maps to help you find your way home. He also has a knack for creating interesting characters you want to see figure things out. So when two women played by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring find themselves wrapped up in a mystery and become lovers, you naturally pay attention! In true Lynch form, not everything you see makes sense, but it's a hell of a ride and one of the most haunting films of his career.
While you could go and experience the anemic end to the Fifty Shades franchise in theaters this weekend, you could save your time, money, and enjoy some up close and personal time with that special someone in your life with any of these great flicks. We hope this list has been helpful as you plot and plan your Valentine's Day evening. With a big winter storm hitting much of the country, it's a great time to keep warm under the covers with a good movie.
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Basic Instinct (Blu-ray)
- The Handmaiden (Blu-ray)
- 9 ½ Weeks (Blu-ray)
- Gone Girl (Blu-ray)
- Mulholland Drive (Blu-ray)
- Fatal Attraction (Reissue) (Blu-ray)
- Malice (Blu-ray)
- The Hunger (Blu-ray)
- Sea of Love (Blu-ray)
- Dressed to Kill (Criterion) (Blu-ray)
- Fifty Shades Darker - Ultra HD Blu-ray (Ultra HD)
- Fifty Shades of Grey - Ultra HD Blu-ray (Ultra HD)