Basic instinct EXPLAINED – What is it about
While making rough sex at his home in San Francisco, Johnny Boz, a former Rock star, is stabbed to death with the ice pick by an unknown woman, he was having fun. On the following morning, homicide detectives find a cruel scene of the murder. Among them is Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) – a man with a doubtful reputation within the police. The first obvious evidence connects the victim with his well-known lover, Catherine Tramell (Basic instinct Sharon Stone) – a distinguished-looking woman-millionaire, who wrote a detective book of such type of murder a year before. The officer quickly falls under impressions of this woman, who is now a suspect. After strange murders Curran is now under suspicion himself, being almost obsessed with a Tramell. The issue is complicated with unfinished revealing relations with Dr. Elizabeth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), police psychiatrist, who also has some skeletons in her closet.
Who was the killer in Basic Instinct
Basic instinct almost certainly does not have a dogmatical solution of “who was the killer”. That’s why we are so excited about open epilogue and different sorts of clues and tips. And the very plot conflict stands far away from the scene of an ice pick under Sharon Stone’s bad (Basic instinct ending) – but in reasonable doubts of the official statement by Beth Garner. However, let’s figure out the Basic instinct plot from the point of view that a solution exists, certain or not, but it may be distinguished. We have a killer or killers in Basic instinct and will try to define all famous and hidden clues in this issue. The basic instinct is now a part of movie history, one of the 1990-s symbols with famous sex scenes and mystery.
Catherine Tramell – arguments for
- He starts the series of butchery murders to obtain inspiration for her new book.
- Catherine Tramell made herself a convincing alibi, being a lover of Johnny Boz and by means of her last book, in which ex-rock star is being killed in the same manner after a hot scene with an ice pick.
- The impulse for murder has been a part of her professional interest for years
- Catherine is a millionaire with 110 million assets, which is a means of her confidence in case of possible problems with justice (her magnificent behavior during Basic instinct interrogation scene).
- A woman may cause the death of her parents in 1983 to obtain financial and other forms of freedom and confidence.
- Tramell could murder her ex-college lecturer and possible lover with an ice pick, which became a basis for her book down the years.
- Catherine is an intelligent manipulator who can easily create appropriate precedents and gets on the victim’s good side.
- Basic instinct ending scene with an ice pick under the bed and Catherine’s uncertain look and Curran still strong argument of her guilt.
- Has an emotional and even sexual (Roxy) relations with mentally sick people, former murders of own families. The circumstances of her own parent’s death are still mysterious.
- Sharon Stone’s character does not have an appropriate alibi for the evening when Johnny Boz was murdered. More importantly, they were seen together on that day.
- Generally, cool-headed speaking on other deaths. She argues to have some unrevealed friends who inform her about these murders. Tramell also does not express shame, repentance, and remorse, which are typical for the psychopath.
- Obtains personal information on detective Curran (Michael Douglas), which can be bought from murdered Lieutenant Nilsen.
- Catherine had sexual relations with Johnny Boz, Roxy, Beth Garner, Nick Curran – three of them are dead at the end of a story.
- She openly expresses her thoughts about Gus and his attitude toward her, full of distrust and doubts. He was killed with an ice pick in an elevator.
- Catherine Tramell is a master of ice pick usage, which she demonstrates and even ironically underlines (Sharon Stone ice pick scenes).
- She reveals her ex relations with Elizabeth Hoberman, which next causes serious conflict between Beth and Nick.
- Johnny Boz and a girl, which murdered him, took cocaine. Catherine admits her positive attitude to drugs, especially during sex – she highlights this twice – in the police department and within the conversation with Nick. She admits taking cocaine along with Johnny Boz.
- In the opening Basic instinct sex scene, Sharon Stone is more like the murderer than Jeanne Tripplehorn (even with due regard to hair wig).
- Another famous and strong argument in Tramell’s guilt – a moment, when Nick Curran finds a draft of a novel with a scene, which describes the murder of a detective partner. Gus was killed in the same ways a few hours after.
- Catherine’s sexual behavior with Nick resembles the killer’s behavior in the opening scene.
Catherine Tramell – Arguments against
- Johnny Boz was murdered a year after Tramell’s book release – she used an image of the ex-rock star, being killed by an ice pick without the actual death of her lover. If she (Sharon Stone) wanted to murder him, she would probably for this earlier.
- Despite reasonable doubts on a lie detector test, Catherine Tramell masterfully passes this examination, answering questions about Johnny Boz’s murder.
- Catherine also steadily passes a tough interrogation process with a room full of detectives and executives.
- Although Sharon Stone’s character does not have a solid alibi, there no direct evidence of her guilt or participation in the murders, as arguments that she was not at home, as she says.
- Tramell did not have any need to kill lieutenant Nilsen – even if they have some business together (sold data on Curran) – there no shreds of evidence of it – only Nick’s suspicions.
- She hints few times that Detective (abstract image of her story, based on Nick) will find death at the hands of ‘’wrong woman’’, but he manages to be alive until the end of a story.
- If Tramell murdered her college lecturer eight years ago, it’s strange that the next similar death is being done only now.
Elizabeth Hoberman / Garner – Arguments for
- Young Lisa (Beth) studied in the same college, Catherine Tramell did, and her lecturer was stabbed with an ice pick eight years ago.
- Beth (Jeanne Tripplehorn Basic instinct) has hidden the truth not only about Tramell as a fellow student but about their sexual experience almost to the bitter end. She also “forgot” to mention the lecturer’s murder eight years ago.
- Unlikely for a young impressive millionaire (Sharon Stone) to be obsessed with another in a standing girl. From this perspective, it is Beth’s story to be faked.
- Dr. Garner is a high-skilled psychotherapist, who deals both with policemen and criminals – connected her life with violence, thus she has enough to manipulate other people.
- A strange and unrevealed story about Dr. Garner – Elizabeth’s ex-husband, who was killed a few years ago, throws strong suspicions on her.
- After Dr. Garner’s death, police detectives reveal the 38-caliber gun in her apartment – a mean of Lieutenant Nilsen’s murder. There is also the supposition that this murder weapon caused another crime – Dr. Garner’s death (husband). Detectives also find Tramell’s books, newspaper scraps, indicating Garner’s deadly obsession.
- Elizabeth (Jeanne Tripplehorn) had an obvious motive to get rid of Lieutenant Nilsen who had managed investigation on her a year before. He could reveal some evidence of her guilt in the husband’s murder. These two also had an unpleasant scene in a bar.
- Beth was outside on the eve of Nilsen was murdered. She admitted to visiting Nick at that time during police interrogation.
- Beth is an emotional and possessive person and she has demonstrated multiple times as a lack of control.
- Beth is suspiciously close to the investigation and all main events. She participates in Curran’s (Michael Douglas) fate, except his emotional state, helps with interrogation and invites psychotherapists to analyze Johnny Boz’s murder.
- Elizabeth was acquainted with Johnny Boz, has practiced in the same building his therapist did.
- Beth was at the crime site when Gus was stabbed. There is a poor possibility for her to be just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Finally, there was no voice record on her call minder.
- Detectives found police raincoat on the stairs with an appropriate size and hair wig. Blondie wig is a strong argument that Boz was killed by Dr. Garner and of her obsession with Tramell.
- Detective Curran manages to survive the whole story – it can be an indirect argument that Beth was a killer in Basic instinct – because she truly loved him and even protected.
- She gave multivalve smile on Nick’s thank, after circumstances of Lieutenant Nilsen’s death.
Elizabeth Hoberman / Garnet – Arguments against
- If Beth is a murderer and it was she who stabbed college lecturer eight years ago, unlikely that she has not managed any known murders in such a way until now.
- Although Dr. Garner is a professional psychiatrist, she seems to have poor control over her emotions, especially dealing with Nick (Michael Douglas). She does not make an impression of a cool-minded person, a woman, who was a killer in Basic Instinct.
- Although police find a gun in Dr. Garner’s apartment and mean implications of ex-husband’s murder, we don’t figure out her possible motive to kill Garner – unlikely to manage murder to obtain the second name.
- Beth had no need and any motive to meet and kill Gus.
- If Beth kills Nilsen, it’s unclear why she does it only now – he has been investigating her past for a year. It’s unlikely for Beth to kill the lieutenant for a scene in a bar with herself and Nick.
- Dr. Garner works with prominent psychiatrists and crime profilers. Hard to swallow the idea that she has managed to hide her mental diseases, obsession and killer nature among them.
- Beth’s sex style with Nick has a little in common with the opening sex scene and Tramell’s behavior in bed (famous Basic instinct sex scene).
- If Dr. Garner is a killer and she stabbed Gus, why she has not escaped with evidence (wig, ice pick, raincoat), but came to Nick from the stairs. For another thing, she did not have any weapon in a pocket to harm Nick. It was a great risk to reveal her within a scene of the crime.
- Beth seems to be ignorant of cocaine, found near Johnny Boz’s body.
- Johnny Boz was last seen with Catherine Tramell on the eve of his own murder – it is unlikely for him to meet Beth on his way home. It is also hard to believe that Johnny ignored the fact, that Beth used hair wig and behaved differently.
Thesis – Sharon stone did not kill anybody
Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is a talented manipulator who satisfies winding other people around her finger, using them and guiding. She uses other people to manage crimes in order to obtain inspiration for a novel. The fact that her books resemble real crime events is an argument that Tramell is a kind of puppet master. She even raises the ante directing suspicions on herself with no alibi and relations with Johnny Boz. Catherine uses her natural charm, sex and psychology to create precedents. Who is, in such a manner, the real killer in Basic Instinct? We have a wide variety of choices. Roxy with dark crime past, former and maybe still a psychopath, who is obsessed with Catherine, and under her full control – she managed to see Catherine, having sex with Johnny Boz and Curran (she tried to kill him). Hazel Dobkins – psychopath, who killed her husband with an ax – she certainly has no murdered Boz but could deal with Nilsen and even Gus. Tramell could manipulate Elizabeth Garner, which is of great possibility. All these make her at least copartner or encourager.
Hypothesis – Catherine and Beth remained lovers till the very end
Dr. Garner could manage at least some of the murders in Basic instinct under the strong influence of Tramell. Beth may give confidential information on Nick (not Nilsen) to Catherine even without any docs – with her own words. Is it possible that Beth was an informer in Police, who gave all burning crime events to Tramell? Both versions of college relations – from Catherine and Beth – are doubtful. In fact, two young women could maintain to be close for all these years. In particular, Tramell could be “another girl” in the case of Garner’s husband’s murder. Beth herself has mentioned only one woman she slept with. So Mr. Garner may become a victim of jealousy, psycho experiments. At the same time, Roxy is a weak point of this theory – an unwanted opponent.
Main thesis – There is no solid answer, who was the killer in Basic Instinct
All arguments for and against, clues, even the sex scenes create understanding, once expressed by Roger Ebert, famous movie critic: Basic instinct creators intentionally build their story, every hint, and a clue to interpreting it due to both versions of who was a killer in Basic Instinct.
Basic instinct cast
Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct – is a legendary movie character – her leg cross scene – is among the most viewed in the 1990-s. Although she did not have any other roles of such a scale after 1992, Sharon stone gave us one canonic woman image. Michael Douglas presented the main male character in Basic instinct – police detective Nick Curran, who fast falls under obsession and control of Catherine Tramell – main suspect. The basic instinct is not his most famous role, but now it is hard to imagine the Basic instinct sex scene with another actor. Jeanne Tripplehorn in Basic instinct, whose Beth Garner is no less mystery than Sharon Stone’s Tramell, has also given us unforgettable moments.
Basic instinct interrogation scene and leg cross
In addition to the frequent question «Who was the killer in Basic Instinct», a legendary movie still makes a fuss with its sex scenes. One of the most well-known moments in the Basic instinct interrogation scene in the police station. Sharon Stone’s character voluntarily arrives for police to participate in interrogation as the main suspect at the moment. She clearly defines herself as an extremely attractive and hot woman among half a dozen policemen detectives. Catherine Tramell takes a cigarette in a premise where this action is forbidden. She makes her famous Basic instinct leg cross (or leg uncross) also known as Basic instinct «pussy shot» or «pussy scene», which has become a legendary shot.
Thank you for this detailed analysis, regards from Australia
Thank you for reading
Disappointing to such a brilliant analysis – this is the fun and entertainment of the movie. There is no answer because it isn’t needed to entertain you and hold your intellectual interest. As fictional characters they have no real lives, motivation, backstory or requirement for true action. Any writer character in a story is usually a proxy for the real writer – just as Catherine is screwing with your head, Joe Esterhaz, the screenwriter, is screwing with your head. It’s an entertaining exercise in red herrings, suspicion, jeopardy, and audience involvement – and unlike a classical closed mystery like Agatha Christie – it need not have a definitive or “true” answer. That’s the fun. The screenwriter nor the director in this particular case don’t need there to be a true answer to hold your interest in the theater or after you go home. This is a mystery-thriller with an unreliable narrator (the screenwriter) and a good time is had by all. Most people are satisfied to believe the killer is the shrink, and I believe the director has said he didn’t know the meaning of the final ice pick. It’s meaning is fun.
It’s the best website about movies. Keep it up!