Tag Archives: erotic thriller

350 – Deep Water

Listen on the players above, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Director Adrian Lyne, who made the Eighties his erotic, thrilling playground with Flashdance, 9½ Weeks and Fatal Attraction, returns with the erotic thriller Deep Water, his first film in twenty years. Repeatedly delayed and eventually denied a cinema release due to COVID, it’s available on Hulu in the US and Amazon Prime everywhere else, and is easy to recommend – until the last act kicks in.

José contends that Ben Affleck has never been better as the quietly but increasingly jealous husband of a wife who publicly and aggressively displays her unfaithfulness to him – as whom Ana de Armas gives a star-making performance. We discuss their interplay and how it grounds the film, as well as the use of setting and lighting – that dank, grimy shed in which he spends time with his snails, buried within the vision of his perfect mansion, is a wonderfully expressive metaphor for Affleck’s character. We put the film’s mixed reviews down to its abysmal ending, which Mike finds it hard to ignore, but don’t let them put you off enjoying this otherwise fabulously entertaining, extremely watchable thriller.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

241 – Jade

Listen on the players above, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify.

As likeable as it is incoherent, Jade oozes style and steaminess. David Caruso’s assistant district attorney, searching for the killer of a businessman, finds himself delving into a world of kink, prostitution and power, in which Linda Fiorentino, his former lover, is embroiled.

William Friedkin’s attraction to the taboo is at home in the world of the erotic thriller, but as enjoyable as Jade is, it’s a film you watch with one eye on its substantial problems. It’s a film in which everything is done for effect, and damn the consequences – especially the final twist, which turns the film’s sexual liberation and power dynamics on their head, for no good reason. Still, it’s a film we were both happy to watch twice, and as superficial as it may be, that surface is highly polished and glossy.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

88 – Red Sparrow

We catch up on home media with an erotic thriller that, while it fails to titillate, offers a fascinating portrayal of totalitarianism, sexuality, control and ownership of the female body and the way power is expressed through it, revenge, and more. Jennifer Lawrence stars as a ballet dancer forced into working for the state as a honeypot, tasked with seducing Joel Edgerton’s CIA operative for the purpose of smoking out his mole.

We are in agreement on the extravagant thrill of the opening, and the electifying darkness of the sex school’s complex dynamics and brutal methods. Mike is less interested in what occurs when the action moves into the field, and holds out hope for an ambitious (and insane) conclusion; José, more realistic, expounds on why the film’s developments should be interesting enough for Mike as they are. The plot grows convoluted, the visual design less expressive, but ultimately we love what Red Sparrow offers and wish we’d caught it when it was at the cinema.

The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.