Dan (Michael Douglas) plays dead in the park and Alex (Glenn Close) scares him back.
“Fatal attraction” has become a household term for love turned to murderous obsession, thanks to the success of Adrian Lyne’s 1987 movie. Dan (Michael Douglas) is a family man whose one-night affair with Alex (Glenn Close) turns into a nightmare when she insists on continuing the relationship, claiming to be carrying his baby. Alex systematically terrorizes Dan, even temporarily kidnapping his daughter, in her attempts to win back his affection. Douglas’ besieged family man guiltily tries to preserve his marriage and family from the consequences of his own indiscretion. Close’s performance as the love-struck psycho-siren remains her signature role: She conveys the buried feminist message of the film in her challenge to Dan to take responsibility for his sexual behavior. Though many critics acknowlegded the film’s striking similarities to Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film Play Misty for Me, Fatal Attraction spawned numerous other movies about middle-class families besieged by a lone psychotic intent on infiltrating and destroying the fabric of the family unit, including The Stepfather (1987), Pacific Heights (1990), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), and Fear (1996).