Basic Instinct

Published August 24, 2019

Basic Instinct

Film info

  • Title Basic Instinct
  • Director Paul Verhoeven
  • Year 1982
  • Run time 2hrs 8m
  • Genres Mystery, Thriller
  • Tagline A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.

Michael Douglas stars as Nick Curran, a tough but vulnerable detective. Sharon Stone co-stars as Catherine Tramell, a cold, calculating and beautiful novelist with an insatiable sexual appetite. Catherine becomes a prime suspect when her boyfriend is brutally murdered - a crime she described in her latest novel. Obsessed with cracking the case, Nick descends into San Francisco's forbidden underground where suspicions mount, bodies fall and he finds himself an instinct more basic than survival.

Live blog

Time Comment
2:00 Dramatic music over endless credits. You don’t see movies like this anymore.
4:32 Well that took a turn for the gross.
11:16 It’s no coincidence that these two women look identical, is it?
15:39 She’s not a very professional therapist.
19:22 The book as an alibi. Interesting.
25:22 “What are you gonna do, charge me with smoking?”
27:58 Too many men in this interrogation room. Bit of diversity and she’d lose some of her power.
39:09 Now she needs to buy new clothes, dammit.
40:58 Jesus Christ, she drives like a maniac. And she must know he’s following her if he’s driving like that too.
45:16 These posh houses with no curtains.
55:27 “He didn’t think I was objective.” He was right!
1:04:37 What’s up with all the massive chunks of ice?
1:12:33 Doesn’t he think she’s a murderer? That’s not very high standards.
1:18:11 His back tho.
1:25:39 Car chases are notoriously difficult on those steep streets.
1:36:01 “You ever met a friend of hers that didn’t kill someone?”
1:46:15 His driving is getting worse by the day.
1:56:52 She must be being framed though.


Quite liked this one, although I did think it went on a bit. I liked the whodunit at the heart of it, the mystery and the guessing game of who could possibly have done such terrible things. I wasn’t convinced by Michael Douglas' off-the-rails cop and how quickly he fell for this woman. As if his job means literally nothing to him, he didn’t even think twice.

Sharon Stone oozed sex appeal, which was fascinating to behold. I loved the interrogation scene for how she had complete control of the room despite being the one under suspicion. As mentioned above, a bit of diversity might have robbed her of some of her power, although given some of her antics for the rest of the film, maybe not.

With both leads being basically terrible human beings, I was surprised how invested I was in the outcome, and although a few threads were left dangling, I was pretty satisfied with how it all ended. Except for poor Gus. Boooo.

Rating: 4 / 5

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