->''I'm not going to be'' ignored'', Dan!''
-->-- '''Alex Forrest'''

''Fatal Attraction'' is a 1987 thriller about a married man named Dan Gallagher who cheats on his wife with a co-worker named Alex Forrest while his wife and child are away. Dan expects their affair to just be a one-night stand, but Alex, who is [[{{Yandere}} a bit on the unbalanced side]], has other ideas.

Alex attempts suicide when Dan explains to her that he has to get back home and get on with his life. He tries to put the affair behind him, but Alex will not let go, and [[StalkerWithACrush stalks Dan with the intent of getting him back]], and as Dan continues to turn her down, Alex gets increasingly unhinged, reaching into his life and his family with devastating effect. It gets to the point where Dan and his family have to move, but Alex still won't leave them alone, continuing to stalk them, [[WomanScorned her obsession turning to hatred over time]], culminating in a horrific scene which coined the phrase "bunny boiler." Dan, who originally wanted to keep the affair secret from his wife, now has to protect his family from a psychotic woman who is willing to do anything, even [[MurderTheHypotenuse kill]], in order to get her man.

''Fatal Attraction'' was the top grossing movie of 1987, was nominated for several Academy Awards, and became hugely popular both in the United States and internationally. Alex Forrest was cited as a notable film example of someone with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotomania erotomania]]. The movie was also the cause of much discussion about marital infidelity (and the DoubleStandard gender politics involved in the StalkingIsLove trope) for a good while afterward.

Not to be confused with ''Film/FatalInstinct''.

!!This film contains examples of:

* AdultFear: [[spoiler: Alex kidnapping Ellen. It's not just every parent's worst nightmare, but all the elements surrounding it--that your child could go off with a stranger just because he/she seemed nice, that other adults who should have protected your child would instead let them go, that someone could have been watching and stalking your child, just waiting for the right moment to snatch them. And even though Ellen is returned safely, the cold hard fact is that Alex could have harmed her if she wanted to. Dan's demeanor in the police station afterwards demonstrates how really and truly terrified he now is.]]
** The possibility of ruining one's life because of one stupid mistake.
---> " Jimmy, I'm scared. I don't want to lose my family."
* AllMenArePerverts: If Dan had listened to his "big head" instead of his "little head" regarding Alex, none of this would have happened.
* AssholeVictim:
** Considering how Dan dumps Alex, you don't really feel sorry for him when she retaliates. The police don't even act at first. [[spoiler: Until Alex kidnaps his daughter, Ellen.]]
** Alex herself, by the end.
* AxCrazy: Alex, although she doesn't seem like it at first.
* BerserkButton: Alex kidnapping Ellen is the last straw for Dan.
* BettyAndVeronica: Beth (interestingly, a name very similar to Betty) and Alex.
* BigApplesauce: A by-default case.
* BlondesAreEvil: Again, Alex.
* BreakInThreat[=/=]TheVillainKnowsWhereYouLive: Alex follows Dan home and clearly continues stalking the family unseen, as proven by her breaking into their home to kill Ellen's pet rabbit, kidnapping Ellen from her school, and breaking into the house again to kill his wife.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: And how. Many people saw what happened with Alex as "punishing" Dan for cheating on his wife.
* ChekhovsArmoury: The final act of the film is rife with these:
** Alex follows Dan home, which plays into her later breaking into their house to kill their pet rabbit, and her kidnapping his daughter from her school. Even the breaking and entering plays into her showing up in their house in the film's final minutes.
** There's even a [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Knife]]--the butcher knife Alex nearly stabs Dan with during the confrontation in her apartment plays a large role in ''both'' endings. In the original, [[spoiler:she uses it to kill herself in an attempt to frame Dan for murder (note the lingering close-up of Dan's hand on the blade handle as he places it on the counter)]], while in the new ending, Alex brings it to the house in her attempt to kill Beth.
** The wife fills a bathtub in preparation for a soak. Suffice it to say, it comes in handy during the final confrontation.
** And [[ChekhovsGun Chekhovs Words]]. Beth outright tells Alex that she'll kill her if Alex comes near her family again. Alex shows up. . .
** And the best example--we see a revolver in Dan's drawer. It is used in the end.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Alex snaps this at Dan when he tries to give her the brush-off.
* {{Fanservice}}: A love scene between Dan and Beth has her in lingerie as he caresses her, with a prominent shot of her midriff and legs.
** Alex has her moments too, but surprisingly [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]].
* FemmeFatale: Alex is an interesting spin on this, in that her arc isn't about "using" Dan so much as ''punishing'' him for "ignoring" her.
* FilmNoir: One of the most well-known of the neo-noir variety, especially with its play on the FemmeFatale archetypes.
* FocusGroupEnding: The original ending wasn't that well-liked (at least in America. A Japanese version exists with the original ending). The director eventually included it on a special edition VHS as a bonus, and it's also on the DVD and Blu-Ray.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Early on, Dan and Alex listen to MadameButterfly at Alex's house; Dan recalls first going to see the opera as a little boy, and how scared he was by Cio-Cio San's suicide at the end. [[spoiler: This foreshadows the film's original ending, in which Alex herself commits suicide (to the tune of ''Madame Butterfly'', no less) and frames Dan for her murder. However, this scene was cut from the final film (see "FocusGroupEnding"), so it's actually an aversion.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Beth:''' ''(to Alex over the phone)"This is Beth Gallagher. If you ever come near my family again I will kill you. Do you understand me?"'']]
* FreudianExcuse: Strongly implied with Alex, as a ''major'' emphasis is made on her father's [[spoiler: suicide when she was a young girl.]]
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: An interesting spin on this trope, in that the love scenes between Dan and Beth are always filmed as quite tender and pleasurable. The fling with Alex, however constantly comes across as rather comical, and Dan doesn't seem nearly as satisfied with her as one would expect.
* HappilyMarried: Odd example, considering that the crux of the movie is the fact that Dan ''cheats on'' his wife, but all scenes before and after his weekend fling with Alex indicate that he adores his wife and is genuinely remorseful about the affair even before Alex goes off the deep end.
* IHaveThisFriend: Fed up with Alex's crazed behavior, Dan goes to the police on behalf of a "client" who wants to stop an ex from harassing him. Aside from being completely unsympathetic and unhelpful, the cop he speaks to clearly knows Dan is talking about himself.
* IdiotBall: Dan for apparently not using any protection when he slept with Alex, as evidenced by him asking ''her'' about her birth control method. This at a time when the AIDS crisis was slowly but surely becoming more of a worrisome social issue, not to mention the myriad of other [=STDs=] out there. Alex as well, who opens her door without looking through the peephole, asking who it is, or having a chain lock on--highly stupid in a city like New York, even more so when you've just kidnapped a man's daughter and the man might just be a tad upset about this.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Alex calls Dan out on his insistence that "I have a whole relationship with someone else", asking, "Then what the hell were you doing with me?" Later, even as her behavior gets crazier and crazier, she continues to be adamant that Dan has a legal and moral obligation to the child she's carrying. As far off the deep end as she is, she's right.
* JumpScare: [[spoiler:After Dan drowns Alex in the bathtubs and assumes her to be dead, she suddenly comes back to life and springs out of the tub, waving her knife, until Beth shoots her.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Alex in the original ending. Although [[spoiler: it looks like Beth will be able to clear her husband's name and thus foil Alex's "revenge", still, Alex is dead on her ''own'' terms, and thus can't suffer any reprisals.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: Alex in the ''new'' ending. How appropriate that the cuckolded wife is the one who gets gets to shoot her husband's lover.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Alex claims she's gotten pregnant, and when Dan confronts her about her lack of protection, she notes she's assumed that she was infertile due to a traumatic miscarriage she had the previous year.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Alex.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: See above. At least, once she goes so far as to [[spoiler: kidnap Ellen and boil her bunny.]]
* ManlyTears: Dan at Beth's bedside following her accident, as it finally sinks in how close he came to losing his family.
* MamaBear[=/=]PapaWolf: Beth and Dan, given their reactions to the threats against Ellen.
* MoodDissonance: Alex and Ellen having a lovely time at the amusement park. Never mind that it's in the course of a ''kidnapping''. As well, their happiness juxtaposed with Beth's frantic efforts to find Ellen.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Alex tries to do this to Dan's wife Beth in the end.
* MyBiologicalClockIsTicking: Alex's explanation for why she's choosing to keep Dan's baby rather than aborting it.
* NotGoodWithRejection: Alex in regards to Dan. Big time.
* OhCrap: "My wabbit, My wabbit!"
* PoliceAreUseless: Dan's initial pleas to the cops are ignored with them basically having the attitude that he brought it on himself by having the affair with Alex, but also truthfully pointing out that he has no proof that it was she who vandalized his car and that there isn't much they can do regarding her harassment (stalking laws either didn't exist back then or were very weak and usually geared towards women being targeted by men, not the other way around). After Alex snatches Ellen, it's obvious Dan holds the cops equally responsible for failing to act when he first complained.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: In her tape to Dan, Alex accuses him of being a "flaming fucking faggot".
* SanitySlippage: The more Dan tries to distance himself from Alex, the crazier she gets.
* StalkerWithACrush: Alex, to the extent of being an alternate TropeNamer under "Bunny Boiler".
* TenMoviePlots: Blake Snyder of ''Save the Cat'' fame calls this movie a classic Monster in the House plot with Alex as a Domestic Monster, and the sin that unleashes the monster being adultery.
* VaporWear: Alex has no concept of wearing a bra, apparently.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse?: Dan's lawyer buddy and his wife, apparently good friends with Dan and his wife, disappear halfway through the movie. The lawyer's last scene is warning Dan that Alex could sue him for child support, but that's the last we see of him.
* WomanScorned: Alex, especially near the end.
* WouldHurtAChild: Alex has no problem breaking Ellen's heart by killing her pet rabbit. And although she returns Ellen unharmed, it's obvious that she wanted to terrify her parents with the very real possibility that she could have harmed her if she wanted to.
* {{Yandere}}: Alex. Holy ''shit'', Alex. (Know why this movie was a huge hit in Japan? There you go.) Her #7 placement on AFI' s "Villains" List is well earned. She's so much of this, that the Western synonym of "Yandere" is ''named for her most famous crime in the movie'' ("Bunny Boiler").
* YourCheatingHeart: Sets up the plot.