Views from the Sofa’s 100 Greatest Scenes is a list of the 100 greatest moments in the movies. This could be long introductions, moments of action or great dialogue between characters. The scenes are in no particular order and come from many different types of movies.
Some scenes have outlived and outgrown the movie that features them. Fatal Attraction is a great film but the scene chosen here is so iconic and so effective that it even created a new term for an obsessed woman. It is difficult to watch the movie for the first time not knowing about the scene but that doesn’t make it any less effective.
Greatest Scene Number 30: Fatal Attraction – Bunny Boiler
What makes this scene so effective is that Michael Douglas’ Dan Gallagher believes he has rid himself of the obsessive Alex Forrester, played by Glenn Close. His life seems to be getting back to normal, with an unaware wife, a lovely young daughter and a brand new house in the country.
That is why the beginning of this scene works to well. It builds slowly and without warning. Everyone seems to be going about their business, Dan walks with his daughter in the garden, who runs ahead to the cage, while his wife, played by Anne Archer, makes her way into the kitchen.
The music cues something is wrong but not in a sudden jolt. It builds progressively and it is only when you see the pot boiling over on the stove, unsure to what is actually in it, that you get a nervous chill. That is when the scene’s most effective moment comes into play.
The reveal is shocking but what comes before it makes the impact of the scene so much more. As Anne Archer moves slowly towards the pot, her daughter runs frantically towards her rabbit cage. One slow walk compared to the fast one begins to spell the doom perfectly and any wise-viewers will probably have already guessed what will happen.
The little girl’s scream when she realises the rabbit is gone is good but Archer’s scream is much better when she finally raises the lid on the pot. You only see the bunny being boiled for an instant but it is an image carved into social existence forever.
What makes it particularly effective is that in a movie where Glenn Close’s character is fantastically villainous, obsessed and terrifying in moments, it is a scene which doesn’t feature her character at all which makes the biggest impact in the movie.
Overall, the Bunny Boiler scene in one of the most iconic in movies. It is terrifying, graphic without being too gory and sends the message of the villain’s mental state perfectly. It is also the spawning of a new social phrase and a guarantee that Fatal Attraction will never be forgotten.