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20 Erotic Thrillers You Must See Before You Die

20. Cruel Intentions (1999)

For a generation of movie-goers, Cruel Intentions was the first "erotic thriller" they ever found themselves exposed to, and as a result it resonates with a lot of people. It's essentially a teen movie take on a genre usually aimed at adults, and is cheesy, awkwardly written, and contains what feels like an endless parade of poor performances. But Cruel Intentions isn't really concerned with all that, anyway; it's concerned with making its lead character, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, as sexy as possible. In that regard, the movie succeeds in droves - indeed, having seen Cruel Intentions, many a teenage boy presumably laid awake at night thinking about the iconic scene where Gellar kisses Selma Blair. Believe it or not, the movie was based on Les Liaisons dangereuses, a novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos written in 1782. It's somewhat dated now, of course, but there's no denying its place as an essential erotic thriller with a lot to say about teenagers.
Contributor

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.