Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Michael Douglas
Glenn Close
Anne Archer
Ellen Hamilton Latzen.
Directors
Adrian Lyne.
Screenwriters
Nicholas Meyer
James Dearden.
Running Time
123 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
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


Plot
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.


Review
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.


Verdict
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



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)