Basic Instinct (1992)

Paul Verhoeven directs Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas and Jeanne Tripplehorn in this sex thriller where a sociopathic bisexual author is accused of murder, and seduces the cop enthralled by her dangerous lifestyle.

Premium trash, gory gloss. A whodunnit where who did it doesn’t matter as everyone’s doing it. A thriller where the lunging attacks and impressive car chases are overshadowed by the mind fuck games and aggressive fucking. Every time these characters get naked or unguarded then they are in more danger than in any of the shoot-outs. Intimacy is the killer, baring all is the only way to break the other. Stone is brilliant here. Her Catherine Tramell; in control yet vulnerable, poisonous yet possibly innocent. That iconic scene where she reveals her noo-noo is infamous but pointedly that’s all she reveals in a police interrogation. She still holds all the cards, her attractive body is just a tool she has mastered the most obviously. Whether you approach her as villain or victor, she is never victim. A rarity. I’d struggle to think of another modern Hollywood film that presents such a complex yet teasingly undefined female character as this. The role of a lifetime. It is an undeniably erotic film… mixing lingering acts of sexual violence with high end fashion framing gorgeous bodies. Now, I’m not saying Basic Instinct is perfect. The ending is a slight fudge, wanting to have its twisty cake and eat it, and while there are a fair few dated wasteful moments that push it firmly into 1990s camp. Warts and all, this is a DVD we watch with satisfying regularity in the Carroll household. Probably more so than a lot of your wholemeal movie classics. I just have to hear that floating, thrusting seductive score and know I’m going to be enthralled and tickled for two hours. Jerry Goldsmith rips-off Bernard Herrmann yet it heralds a superb evening of neo-noir naughtiness. One so brazen, repeat viewings are mandatory.



  1. Sam Simon · October 7, 2019

    I have the DVD there and haven’t managed to watch it yet… I’m so curious about this movie! Plus I normally enjoy Verhoeven’s style, so I’m sure I will like it. Thanks for your review!


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