“Deep Water,” the new movie streaming on Hulu starring onetime couple Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, is a throwback to a bygone era. The 1980s and ’90s were the pinnacle of the erotic thriller

image credit-social media

image credit-social media

with auteurs like Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”), Brian De Palma (“Body Double”), and William Friedkin (“Cruising”) titillating audiences with sexy leads and devilish motives.

No director more mastered the genre better than Adrian Lyne, whose filmography contains some of the best erotic thrillers ever put to celluloid, including “9 1/2 Weeks,” “Fatal Attraction,” and “Indecent Proposal.” For “Deep Water,”

his first film in 20 years, Lyne has picked up the rights to a novel by Patricia Highsmith, author of the similarly thrilling “Strangers on a Train” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Despite the pedigree assembled, “Deep Water” can be a bit shallow and silly at times. But even the basic thrills and surprising laughs it provides are more than enough to make for an entertaining evening.

“Deep Water” follows the Van Allens, a couple in a decidedly unconventional marriage. Vic (Affleck) is a semi-retired millionaire who spends his days working on a vanity project of a magazine and caring for his one true love, his pet snails. Melinda (de Armas) spends most of her time attending parties with Vic

where she proceeds to get drunk and openly recruit new paramours, who tend to be young, dumb, and handsome. Vic seemingly takes all of Melinda’s brazen infidelity in stride, making reassuring comments to his perplexed friends. 

But when Melinda’s beaus begin to turn up dead, all of Vic’s straight-faced jokes suddenly lead people to wonder whether the milquetoast cuckold is capable of crimes of passion.