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Bronwyn Isaac
February 14, 2017 11:30 am

If you are currently in the process of laying out your date night plans for Valentine’s Day, but the thought of watching another film featuring a shirtless Hugh Grant muttering nonsense to a bedraggled Hollywood starlet makes you want to sleep forever, you are not alone.

There are plenty of romantic thrillers for people who hate romantic comedies, or really, for anyone who feels tired of the predictable tropes in romantic comedies (no offense to the lovely and forever immortalized Meg Ryan). In an act of generosity, we have supplied you with a list of our favorite romantic thriller options.

So, if you are feeling ready to cozy up to your partner or attractive body pillow (you do you, boo), and desire some alternative romantic movie options, please feel free to consider our suggestions.

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Poison Ivy (1992)

Is there anything better than a romantic thriller that stars a young Drew Barrymore as a conniving seductress who infiltrates her new BFFs life through murder? All of the ingredients are there: seduction, psychological violence, lesbian undertones, ’90s fashion, and terrifying Freudian themes.

This is classic pick if  you and your partner want something thrilling that features fleeting romantic moments, but none of the syrup found in a rom-com.

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Cruel Intentions (1999)

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There will be lots of “sexy teen” films on this list, because frankly, Hollywood loves a plot featuring conniving and seductive teens whose intentions take a turn for the worst. Few films embody this theme as flawlessly as Cruel Intentions and its portrayal of scheming Manhattan siblings who make a bet wagering the virginity of a young Reese Witherspoon.

If you haven’t seen it yet, just do it.

If you have, you still know what to do.

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Unfaithful (2002)

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Guys, do we even need to pitch this?! It features Diane Lane and Richard Gere caught up in a marriage that goes woefully wrong when she cheats on him with a mysterious stranger. As you can guess, her adultery takes a darker turn than your run-of-the-mill Seven Year Itch scenario.

Naturally, a private investigator gets involved which only fuels the flames of marital drama.

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If you’re having trouble in your marriage, maybe don’t watch this one.

Basic Instinct (1992)

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Find me a person who doesn’t want to watch Michael Douglas play a homicide detective who gets seduced by main suspect Sharon Stone, and I’ll show you someone without a pulse. Also, the murder victim is a rock star who was stabbed by an ice pick, what is more dramatic than that?

Plus, Sharon Stone serves face the WHOLE film.

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Wild Things (1998)

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Normally, we’re wary to recommend anything that feature false rape accusations, since they tend to feed the myth that women make up rape. But this film features so many twists we can’t resist, there is deception at every turn, and once you feel you’ve figured out who the real bad guys are, you realize you were once again wrong.

We are being vague, because this film is full of so many spoilers.

It’s also full of sex scenes, so proceed with discretion (or pleasure).

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To Die For (1995)

Columbia Pictures

Imagine Nicole Kidman as an ambitious and somewhat (incredibly) manipulative news anchor who’s content in her marriage to Matt Dillon. Sounds pleasant, right? Well, yes it is, until Matt Dillon wants to have kids, Kidman’s true priorities come to light, and everything goes out the window.

This film also manages to loop in mischievous teens and Kidman wearing bold print ’90s outfits.

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Sliver (1993)

Paramount Pictures

The question at hand is: ARE there better ingredients for an erotic Valentine’s Day thriller than a haunted Manhattan building full of intriguing strangers and sexy ghost cameos?! We beg to make the bold assertion that no, there are not.

This is yet another rom-thriller that features Sharon Stone serving serious face.

This is her genre.

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Ghost (1990)

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Speaking of sexy ghosts, there are few alternatives to the mind-numbing ware of rom-coms more sensual than watching ghost Patrick Swayze do sexual pottery with his survivor lover Demi Moore. We’ll leave the rest of the context as a mystery, at the risk of completely spoiling the film.

Plus, Whoopi Goldberg absolutely kills it as the psychic Oda Mae Brown.

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Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)

The plotline of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt playing a well-to-do married couple, both of whom are keeping government secrets from each other, feels a bit more salient following Jolie and Pitt’s divorce this past fall.

The stylized action coupled with Hollywood’s commitment to sexy assassins holds up as a solid date night movie.

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Sea of Love (1989)

Universal Pictures

First of all, Al Pacino plays a detective, so we’re already sold. Second of all, he may, just may happen to fall for a murder suspect played by Ellen Barkin. You can do the rest of the math.

This film is nothing if not a plush menagerie of fluffy late ’80s hair.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

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Really, all you need to know is that it’s an erotic thriller written by Stanley Kubrick that stars Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Once revealed, the couple’s sexual fantasies lead them to sex parties, which naturally lead them to DANGER.

What is not to love about culty sex parties?

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

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This whole list would be a LIE if we didn’t include the iconic romantic terror that is Fatal Attraction. Truly, Glenn Close was a brilliant force of seductive evil we can all aspire to. (Well, not LITERALLY.)

Just look at that unwavering focus on her prey.

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Dead Again (1991)

Paramount Pictures

This film includes a detective, a hypnotist, a composer, ghosts, but most importantly, the flawless acting abilities of Emma Thompson. Do we even need to convince you of this pitch?

Who doesn’t want to cozy up to these traumatized babes?

Original Sin (2001)


Honestly, a movie where Angelina Jolie plays a deceptive mail order bride (we can’t reveal the secrets!) and Antonio Banderas plays an equally misleading rich Cuban businessman should be projected onto every screen, every night.

Spoiler alert: there are plenty of lies, crimes, and audacious sex scenes galore.

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Disclosure (1994)

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Another great rom-thriller featuring Demi Moore, this time, as a businesswoman seeking revenge on an ex-boyfriend played by Michael Douglas.

This is an extremely cathartic watch if you’re single and want to celebrate Valentine’s Day by watching a revenge film.

We are hoping this list provides you with the desired balance of romance and terror befitting the year 2017! Cheers.

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