A filmmaker who has always gravitated towards the controversial ("Lolita", "Indecent Proposal"), 1987's "Fatal Attraction" was one of director Adrian Lyne's most popular efforts - done on a budget of $14m, the picture went on to gross $156M at the box office (and not only was it a commercial success, it was a critical one, as well - it racked up 6 Oscar nominations that year.) The picture stars Michael Douglas as Dan Gallagher, a lawyer who's been happily married for 6 years and has a family with wife, Beth (Anne Archer).
While his wife is away for the weekend, Dan heads to a business function and starts chatting up book editor Alex Forrest (Glenn Close). The two have a bit of a spark, and soon enough, they're falling into bed together for an aggressive, sleazy one-night stand. When he tries to break it off with her, well... she tries to break him, as the relatively calm Alex suddenly turns deeply obsessed.
After Dan tries to rid himself of Alex, she initially tries to hurt herself and then she starts turning up more and more in his life, calling his house, and shows up out of the blue in a desperate attempt to regain his attention. As the film progresses, Alex grows increasingly deranged, resorting to increasingly threatening levels as she stalks Dan, whose wife begins to become suspicious. The picture does still suffer from some plot holes and now has a rather dated appearance, but director Lyne manages to keep the film crisply paced, with an enjoyable, slow-boil ramp-up in tension.
Director Adrian Lyne's film had been done before and has certainly been copied afterwards (the recent "Obsessed"), but the film succeeds largely on the performances, as Douglas and Close are terrific in the leads. Close, in particular, is quite excellent portraying the deeply disturbed Alex. The character certainly doesn't earn the sympathy of the audience, but Douglas still offers a compelling effort. Archer is also first-rate in a supporting performance.
It's not flawless, but I'm surprised how well "Fatal Attraction" still stands up, as the picture still delivers the chills.
VIDEO: "Fatal Attraction" is presented by Paramount in 1.85:1 (1080p/AVC) and the results are actually quite good, as the studio once again does a very nice job handling a catalog title. Howard Atherton's cinematography maintains a somewhat soft appearance in many scenes, but detail is still pleasing - at least for the most part.
The print used appeared to be in fine shape (considering the age of the film), with only a few minor specks and marks seen in a handful of scenes. Mild-to-moderate grain is seen throughout the film, and is likely an intentional element of the cinematography. No edge enhancement or pixelation was noticed. Colors varied throughout the film - although they mostly appeared natural, some scenes looked a touch murky/muddy. However, a few concerns aside, this is still a fine transfer and a nice upgrade over the DVD.
SOUND: The film's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 presentation is adequate, with little in the way of surround use (understandably, given the material) and audio quality that sounds about average for the time period.
EXTRAS: The extras from the prior DVD special edition are carried over here, starting with a commentary from director Adrian Lyne. This is a pretty standard track, as while Lyne does provide some good tidbits about the development of the film, working with the actors and the film's legacy, there are definitely some stretches of silence on occasion.
Presented in SD are a series of featurettes: "Forever Fatal: Remembering 'Fatal Attraction'" (a nearly 30-minute documentary piece that provides a fine overview of the lengthy production, a good discussion of working with the cast and behind-the-scenes tales) , "Social Attraction" (a shorter piece on the reactions to the film) and "Visual Attraction" (a look at creating the film's visual style.) All three are presented in SD.
The film's alternate ending is presented in HD, as is the theatrical trailer. Presented in SD is several minutes of early rehearsal footage, which is fascinating to view.
Final Thoughts:It's not flawless, but I'm surprised how well "Fatal Attraction" still stands up, as the picture still delivers the chills. Paramount's Blu-Ray edition provides improved video quality, fine audio quality and the extras from the DVD edition.
The Film B+