In the kingdom of movie genres, drama films are wrenching, tear-jerking, and eligible for Academy Awards. Action movies will get your heart rate up, and then exit your mind upon leaving the theater. Romances will make you swoon. But only one genre combines the thrill of heightened human emotions with the twisted core of a psychological thriller. And that, of course, is the erotic thriller.
A hallmark of the late '80s and early '90s, erotic thrillers are characterized by beautiful, manipulative women who crunch the bones of unsuspecting men, overly friendly neighbors with schemes in their back pockets, a reluctant submission to desire, and saxophone music that signals someone is about to be offed. While Basic Instinct will, and likely always will be, the most iconic erotic thriller of all time, more recent movies like Black Swan have given the genre an artful revival.
Think of Fifty Shades of Gray as an erotic thriller with training wheels. Now, forget about Jamie Dornan's doe eyes and get ready for some bondage, glinting knives, and loaded stares. Describing these films is the only appropriate time to use the adjective “titillating.”
Warning: Spoilers ahead
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