The Sexiest Thriller Of The 90s Is Killing It On Streaming

By Matthew Creith | Published

neve campbell wild things

The 1990s had no shortage of mysterious thrillers that hit movie theaters across the United States, making some of the actors in these genre-specific movies some of the biggest movie stars of the decade. Little or no television performers were able to seamlessly transition into scream queens overnight, as was the case for Neve Campbell who brought great terror and teenage angst to Scream. But it was her turn as a high schooler gone bad in 1998’s sexy thriller Wild Things alongside Denise Richards and Matt Dillon that made her very famous, and now FlixPatrol reports that Wild Things is ranked number 10 on the HBO Max streaming charts.

After a successful dramatic turn on television’s Party of Five and a popular staple of the Scream franchise, Neve Campbell entered the world of sexy thrillers with Wild Things. Starring Richards, Dillon, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Murray, the movie showcased Floridian teen drama set against the backdrop of rape allegations that turned bloody quickly. As the investigation of these allegations brings more crimes to light, the movie takes several twists and turns that end with a big reveal during the end credit sequence.

Directed by John McNaughton and written by Stephen Peters, Wild Things was a surprise hit financially for distributor Columbia Pictures when it had its theatrical release starting on March 20, 1998. The movie went on to gross over $67 million against a budget of $20 million, spawning several sequels that went straight to DVD and didn’t end up starring anyone from the principal cast of the original flick. Wild Things is notable for its take on nudity at a time when few actors were showing their bodies on screen, including a full-frontal male nudity shot of Kevin Bacon as his character gets out of the shower.

denise richards
Denise Richards and Neve Campbell in the racy pool scene in Wild Things. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Despite its success at the box office, Wild Things has had an uphill battle when it comes to solidifying itself in the sexy thriller genre amongst critics and audiences in the past 24 years since its release. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the movie with mixed reviews, noting a 64% on its Tomatometer based on 64 critics’ reviews and an Audience Score of 53% from over 50,000 ratings of verified users to the site. Similarly, Metacritic rates Wild Things with Metascore of 52 based on 20 critics’ reviews, as well as a User Score of 8.0, which typically denotes mixed reviews from critics and generally favorable reviews from audiences.

As Wild Things is currently trending on HBO Max’s list of available movies to stream on its platform, it seems like audiences might be wanting different types of genres to watch other than the normal holiday titles during the month of December. With Hallmark pretty much dominating the holiday season, other streamers have thrown their hat into the holiday mix like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. However, with Wild Things making a surprise addition to the top titles on HBO Max, it will be interesting to see how long this sexy thriller can hold onto the Top 10 spot.