Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.


12 Sexy, Must-Watch Erotic Thrillers

For a sexy and kind of scary good time.

Originally Published: 

Erotic thrillers are for all of us who you can’t pay to ever watch Saw again. Unlike straight up horror films, a psychological thrill of erotic thrillers come from pushing the boundaries of love, desire, sex, and danger. In erotic thrillers, psychological mind games and dark obsessions are the monster — but they’re also a little corny! Click through for 10 of our favorite erotic thrillers to get you ready for spooky season.

Cruising (1980)

Okay it might be a little pro-cop, but Al Pacino goes undercover in the gay S&M scene in pre-AIDS New York City to find out whose been murdering young men. Need we say more? (Amazon Prime)


Body Double (1984)

Body Double puts an erotic twist on the Rear Window voyeur thriller theme; this time, it’s about a struggling actor housesitting his friend’s home in Hollywood who becomes obsessed with his neighbor who strips in front of her window. Bonus points for the vibey New Wave score. (Amazon Prime)


Basic Instinct (1992)

Isn’t it wild that Sharon Stone invented the art of seduction in this film? And crossing and uncrossing legs as a concept? She’s given us so much... (HBO Max)

Single White Female (1992)

Bridget Fonda needs to find a roommate after breaking off her engagement. In the grand tradition of horror movies punishing single women, she finds a roommate (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who becomes obsessed with her. Ugh, finding an apartment in New York City is tough! (HBO Max)


Wild Things (1998)

A crime noir that’s arguably a more famous, less quality remake of a 1985 film of the same name, Wild Things has perfect 90s blowouts, a threesome between Denise Richards, Neve Campbell, and Matt Dillon, choker necklaces, and most crucially, full frontal Kevin Bacon. (Hulu)

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The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, also known as the Holy Trinity of 1999, star in this thriller about a twisted psychopath who cons his way into an elite social circle (and a fabulous Italian vacation). It’s all la dolce vita until a pesky murder and subsequent coverup spoil Ripley’s fun. Plus, Cate Blanchett and Dustin Hoffman are star in supporting roles. (Amazon Prime)


Cruel Intentions (1999)

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon are the It Ensemble Cast of this disturbing erotic thriller about seduction, manipulation, and step-sibling incest at a Manhattan prep school. It’s like a darker Gossip Girl, but with coordinated sweater sets. (Hulu)

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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

A sex cult filled with powerful elites, a masked Orgy, a sexually frustrated Nicole Kidman, and Tom Cruise in sleuth mode around a Christmastime New York City — Stanley Kubrick’s final film really has it all. (Hulu)


Mulholland Drive (2001)

While it feels like David Lynch’s weird, long closeups on otherwise unsexy, everyday objects make any of his movies feel like erotic thrillers, there’s an iconic sex scene between Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring in this film about the glamour and danger of Hollywood. You might just need to reserve a day of Googling to figure out what else happens in this movie. (Amazon Prime)


In The Cut (2003)

Meg Ryan and short king Mark Ruffalo — maybe the greatest on-screen couple that never was? — star in this erotic psychological thriller, where Ruffalo plays a New York cop who helps Ryan, a sexually repressed teacher, on a sexual awakening after she may have witnessed the lead up to a murder at a bar. It’s all very Law & Order: SVU — until it’s not!

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Ex Machina (2014)

It’s a tale as old as time: Boy meets girl, girl is an AI robot, boy falls in love with robot anyway. In this A24 film, Ava is a super hot robot created by an evil genius living in remote Switzerland. When Domhnall Gleeson, who plays an employee of the evil genius’ company, “wins” a contest to see his latest invention, he falls in love with a robot — but ends up discovering a trove of disturbing secrets! Think deep red lighting, remote Switzerland, and the most disturbing apex in the Uncanny Valley. (Showtime)


The Boy Next Door (2015)

J. Lo and John Corbet (Aiden from Sex and the City) star in this erotic thriller, where J. Lo has an affair with a hot 19-year-old who is somehow still in high school. When she ends it, he becomes dangerously obsessed with her, which is one of the many, many reasons not to hook up with a 19-year-old. (Amazon)

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