Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Roar Power
Jurassic World unleashed on iTunes
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Michael Douglas
Glenn Close
Anne Archer
Ellen Hamilton Latzen.
Adrian Lyne.
Nicholas Meyer
James Dearden.
Running Time
123 minutes

4 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
Intern, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Beasts Of No Nation
4 Star Empire Rating
Nightmare, The
3 Star Empire Rating

5 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Fatal Attraction
Glenn Close turns into a monstrous one-woman adultery-deterrent in Lyne's graphic suburban serving of horror.

submit to reddit

An apparently loving husband, Dan (Douglas), embarks upon a frantic one-night affair with unhinged book editor Alex (Close), only to be made to pay for his sins with her campaign of crazed retribution, the murder of the family pet being one of Alex's tamer actions.

It was the remarkable double of Fatal Attraction followed by Wall Street that vaulted Michael Douglas to the top of the A-list of desirable leading men. Adrian Lyne's slick, racey thriller was the biggest grossing hit of 1987 and was read as a timely parable about the dangers of indulging in unsafe sex. Sex certainly never came more lethal than this, when Douglas' Dan Gallagher succumbs to a one-night stand with Glenn Close's seemingly blase book editor Alex Forrest.

Gallagher's punishment for having his fun in such places as the kitchen sink and the lift is discovering that the lady is a serious loony. An unfaithful husband's worst nightmare comes to life as the obsessional, spurned Alex winds herself up listening to Madame Butterfly and embarks on a vengeful reign of terror.

From the first ominous tantrum as Gallagher attempts a cheery ta-ta, the unease is wound tighter and tighter through such staples of screen psycho behaviour as destruction of property and the old mutilation of a family pet routine (rendered with an appalling difference) to outright horror. This is all wildly gripping, suspenseful stuff, with a masterfully done, heart-stopping climax, although the last Grand Guignol split-seconds are never quite as scary as the first time you see it. Poor Alex —deranged as she is—does have a point in her grievance that he's taken what he wanted and now she can get lost. The escape clause for our hero is that she not only asked for it but downright insisted, and the twist that so captured the public was the depiction of the man as the stalked victim.

Douglas is attractive and believable, but he does take a backseat to Glenn Close's spectacularly crazed performance. It would be fun to see the original ending—which American test audiences couldn't stomach — in which the Madame Butterfly motif reached a logical, very much more downbeat conclusion, with her suicide leaving him framed for murder.

Two absolutely riveting performances and a smart reversal of the usual male-female stalker scenario leave behind a nasty taste and an unforgettable cinema experience.

Reviewed by Angie Errigo

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Fatal Attraction
Empire Star Rating

Like they say: this is not a film, it's an experience. Douglas is brilliant, but Close nails it and does what I would call one of the best performances in the history of cinema. She deserved the Oscar more than Cher. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 01:01, 22 February 2010 | Report This Post

Empire's Best Horror Films For Halloween
An unlucky thirteen triple-bills

Emily Blunt Talks Sicario
On the five-star thriller, puke acting and taking Tom Cruise to The Box

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)