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Weekend Binge: Since you won’t get to watch Fifty Shades Freed this week, watch these 5 erotic thrillers instead

You’re going to have to wait a while before you get to watch Fifty Shades Freed (if you want to watch it at all), but you can watch these five brilliant erotic thrillers

weekend binge Updated: Feb 10, 2018 11:06 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
Weekend Binge,Fifty Shades Freed,Fifty Shades of Grey
There is good trash and there is bad trash and then there is classic trash.

Every week, we will curate a collection of titles - movies, TV, general miscellanea - for you to watch (and in some cases, read, or listen to), in a series we call Weekend Binge. The selection will be based on a theme which binds the picks - which could be extremely blunt in certain instances, or confusingly abstract in some. No rules apply, other than the end goal being getting some great entertainment to watch.

While the idea is to base the theme on the week’s major events - it could be the release of a new movie, or show - we could also use this opportunity to comment on our world in general, and turn to art to wrap our heads around some of the more difficult stories of the past seven days.

We don’t know if the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever end. We can’t be sure if pineapple on pizza will ever be outlawed. But we do know one thing for sure: After this, there will not be any new Fifty Shades of Grey movies, at least until such time as EL James whips out her iPhone and knocks another one out.

But thankfully - in one of the only instances of our censor board’s prudishness benefitting the general populace - we’ve never got a Fifty Shades movie in theatres. And chances are, we won’t get Fifty Shades Freed either. How could we be expected to digest consensual sadomasochism when we still haven’t got over swearing?

But there isn’t much the CBFC can do to deter you from watching erotic thrillers - a genre that is somewhat of a relic these days, unless Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Lopez are somehow involved. And there are always better erotic thrillers to watch than Fifty Shades. Here are five of them. Before you ask, no, there’s no room for Basic Instinct on this list because that would be a waste.

Nymphomaniac (Vol I and II)

Could there be a better way with which to open this list? Lars von Trier’s deranged film about a young woman’s journey as she discovers (and grossly abuses) her sexuality won’t teach you anything you didn’t already know about feminism, or violence against women, or movies for that matter, but it will certainly teach you a thing or two about fly fishing. Fair warning, though: Watched back-to-back, the uncut (no pun intended) version is over five hours long. There’s only so much naked Shia LaBeouf one person can handle.

Malice

While there’s a valid argument to be made that Malice is more thriller than erotic thriller, it has enough elements to justify this classification. For one, there is infidelity. There is a dead Gwyneth Paltrow. There is also murder. And as a bonus, there’s a screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin and Scott Frank.

Body Heat

Perhaps the most apt description of this movie, directed by Lawrence Kasdan (who’s perhaps second only to George Lucas inside the Star Wars universe), is its title. That’s the lasting impression it leaves behind. It’s set during a particularly extreme heatwave in Florida, where a particularly inept lawyer gets himself entangled in a murder mystery. Body Heat also has one of modern film noir’s most iconic femme fatales, played by Kathleen Turner.

Angel Heart

Like Body Heat, Angel Heart, directed by Alan Parker, is another film that has a strong sense of place. It follows the trials and tribulations of a New York City PI who’s hired to track down a mysterious man. His investigations lead him to New Orleans, where he gets embroiled in all sorts of Satanism, sorcery, and assorted witchcraft. But more than anything else, the reason Angel Heart became a cult classic is because of one, particularly lengthy sex scene that had to be trimmed by 10 seconds to get an R rating. It was earlier shot down with the infamous X rating. And also, Robert De Niro plays the devil in it.

The Handmaiden

Park Chan-wook’s gloriously twisted historical epic is the sort of film that sneaks up on you. It begins as a slightly scandalous tale set in Korea under Japanese rule, and follows the story of a wealthy Japanese heiress and a Korean pickpocket. But before you know it, the film transforms into a psychosexual tale of love and revenge. Park is among the finest Korean filmmakers working today, and the grip he has on these themes - Greek tragedy, lust and vengeance - is unparalleled. As another weapon with which to convince you to watch it, you must check out the poster.

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 09:00 IST