chapter  Three
14 Pages

Erotomania and unrequited love: film portrayals of sexual stalking

ByHelen K. Gediman

Clint Eastwood both directed and starred in the 1971 Play Misty for Me, a film in which Evelyn, a woman stalker, is smitten by romantic love which, when unrequited, morphs into the excessive emotions of fused sex and aggression that climax in over-the-top aberrations with fatal outcomes. Evelyn forms a delusional idea that Dave Garver is in love with her, a hallmark of erotomania. Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction is the most well known film portrayal of all time of a vengeful, crazed, erotomanic sexual stalker. Alex Forrest epitomizes the erotomanic sexual stalker as a professional woman romantically obsessed with the man she is determined to have and to ruin. Alex’s unrequited love and erotomania, like Evelyn’s, drive her to self-abasing, uncivilized behaviour, and, ultimately, her death. Both films climax with an outrageous, unsubtle horror scene that terminates an illuminating psychological tale of erotomania, unrequited love, and murderous revenge that provides informative insights into the psychology of stalking.