20 Erotic Thrillers You Must See Before You Die

Bunny boilers, sex-obsessed teenagers, and Sharon Stone's crotch.

Most erotic thrillers are considered to be bottom of the barrel affairs. Given that so many of them rely on old cliches, cardboard characters and scenes of sex and violence that are best described as "exploitive," it kind of make sense. Very few erotic thrillers, after all, make it onto lists detailing the greatest films ever made; they're more likely to end up on lists outlining guilty pleasures, or films everyone knows are bad that you somehow can't resist. But one could certainly argue that the inherent appeal of an erotic thriller is the fact that it's a little trashy, a little exploitive and a little bit ridiculous. They're designed with the intention of offering sex and lies and violence in one neat package. But the best kinds of erotic thrillers are those that manage to be a bit cheesy and self-aware at the same time; either that, or those that at least attempt to be artful - to make something more than mere trash. Erotic thrillers hit their peak in the late '80s and early '90s, of course, at a time when Michael Douglas seemed to be in all of them for some reason, and Joe Eszterhas was one of the highest-paid scriptwriters in Hollywood. So whilst it's true that most of the films in this often ridiculed little sub-genre aren't worth the celluloid they were photographed on, there are a handful of movies that showcase the true potential of the erotic thriller in all its glory...


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.