Movie Review-The Silence of the Lambs

Hi Folks,

 

 

It’s thriller Thursday…yup whatever. So we’re up to one of my favorite movies ever and not just because of sexy Jodie Foster.

 

 

The Silence of The Lambs

 

Fast Facts

 

Made in 1991 and directed by Jonathan Demme, The Silence of the Lambs is one of those rare films that transcends it’s genre to gain not only critical acclaim but award nods as well! Best Actor, Actress, Director and Best Picture as well as adapted screenplay. Holy crap they liked it they really liked it!

 

Suck it Avatar

So for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last twenty years; The Silence of the Lambs follows FBI Special Agent in training Clarice Starling as she plumbs the dangerous and brilliant mind of Hannibal ‘the cannibal’ Lecter an incarcerated serial killer who at least partially consumed his victims. She’s sent to him for insight into the open investigation of a serial killer nicknamed ‘Buffalo Bill’ so named for his proclivity towards skinning his kills.

 

This is the least disturbing nudity in the film...

Cast

 

He's got good reason to be smug

Anthony Hopkins- Hannibal Lecter is Hopkins’ defining role; he won an Oscar for it in I think might be the one and only time I ever agreed with the Academy. His performance is flawless, absolutely flawless. If a line he never said can send shivers down your spine just at the thought of him saying it; he’s done something wickedly right.

 

....huh?....oh sorry right caption...I was lost in her eyes

 

Jodie Foster- Clarice Starling nabbed Foster an Oscar and again deservedly so. There is something so utterly human about this character and Foster is so much a part of that. In these movies the cops always seem super human and even in places where Clarice is coming to those Holmesian conclusions; Jodie keeps her grounded and out of the caricature zone.

 

Oh god the hair...

Ted Levine- Jame ‘Buffalo Bill’ Gumb is a sick, scary fucker. Levine made him that way, from the drawling throat scratching drawl to the lunatic mood swings he makes Bill believable and when you’re playing a guy who is making himself a skin suit that’s pretty damn impressive.

 

 

 

 

Observations

 

This is one of those rare films where there is absolutely nothing about it that I would change. The acting is amazing, the cinematography, writing, effects, everything is as close to perfect as cinema can get.

 

Obviously the meat hook upon which this movie hangs are the scenes between Foster and Hopkins. There’s a reason they both got an Oscar for this movie. The dynamic of the mental cat and mouse game they’re playing are brilliantly disturbing and utterly riveting. Hopkins is terrifying and fascinating at the same time and Jodie positively exudes intelligence and a guarded naivety. So many films have attempted to replicate this tension and failed that you just have to tip your hat to the one that got it right.

 

Above: doing it right

This is not to say that the ‘other’ serial killer in this film isn’t compelling; Buffalo Bill takes all the nastiest bits of Bundy and Gein and combines them into a frightening, fucked up circus.

 

Cirque de so...fucking creepy

As predatory and menacing as Hannibal Lecter is, Buffalo Bill has one of the most frightening sequences I’ve ever seen to his credit. The final showdown of the film. Clarice vs. Bill in the basement in the utter dark…and the fucker has night vision goggles.

 

Yeah...she looks good that way...no I don't have first hand experiance...I don't

 

 

ew

Watching Clarice stumble around blindly from Bill’s point of view, watching through his eyes as he stalks up behind her is one of the most intense scenes ever shot and I still have trouble sitting through it without my heart racing.

 

...yup it's racing

There is also the simple fact that Bill is a creepy motherfucker, it’s kind of hard to forget the naked dancing scene (no matter how hard you try; and believe me I have tried) or any of his scenes with Catherine, Precious and the pit of death.

 

stupid little rat

“It puts the lotion…” finish the line. If you can’t you need a pop culture refresher course. That’s how creepy this guy is.

 

you've seen it, you can't UNsee it!

 

Ok so now that we’ve given the first devil his due let’s get on to our favorite mind fucking psychopath. Hannibal the cannibal has become almost an anti hero since this movie was released on an unsuspecting culture; and two prequels  and a sequel later; I think we all can agree that The Silence of the Lambs is the best of the bloody bunch.

 

They had to strap him down for the screenings

 

Anthony Hopkins is absolutely bone chilling in this part. He’s everything good about the Bond villains with none of the hokey plots or 11th hour soliloquies where he explains his plot to the audience like he’s talking to a bunch of four year olds. It’s like if an actual intelligent person went psycho, as opposed to someone who just thinks he’s a super genius.

 

no Mr. Bond but I do expect you to be delicious with a nice Hollandaise sauce

I think the best part of Hopkins’ performance is that he lulls you into a kind of false sense of security. His voice is almost soothingly pleasant at times and his polite though prurient interest in Clarice’s personal life is almost cordial. Even when he’s actively insulting her you get the menacing without actual threat vibe from him. It’s only when we finally see him being violent that the genteel illusion is shattered and we see how truly dangerous is the fire with which Clarice has been playing.

 

Though this should have been a clue

Watching him attack the guards, seeing him bite one of them and then butcher the other with classical music playing in the background, blood smeared all over his mouth is surreal and terrible imagery at it’s best.

 

He's conducting...

Clarice for her part is an extremely likable heroine. Even though you know, you just know that she’s getting played for all she’s worth and that she’s making all kinds of bad decisions along the way (you know like not just fucking making something up about her childhood; as opposed to telling Hannibal about her most traumatic life experiences) you want her to succeed so badly it hurts. When the manhunt is over and she’s emerged victorious I think is when we get the most blood curdling moment in the movie. When she gets a phone call, from Hannibal…at home. All of a sudden the wolf at the door has been replaced by a legit monster and then of course the movie ends; with no resolution to that. Since I like to pretend that Hannibal never happened we’ll just leave it as the best cliffhanger ending ever.

 

also the hottest

Final Thoughts

 

The Silence of the Lambs  is the perfect thriller. You have not one but two terrifying villains, one of whom is now iconic. You have a likable and relatable protagonist who makes mistakes and finally you have this wicked, wonderful, twisting, turning but still believable plot. What more could you possibly ask for?

 

Oh right and there’s a very satisfying gore quotient for those of you who think that’s important.

 

Which is everyone

 

All in all and yeah I never thought I’d do this either:

 

10 out of 10

 

 

Your awe struck Screamstress,

 

 

 

~Fright Dyke

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One Response to “Movie Review-The Silence of the Lambs”

  1. maturehorrorfan Says:

    Have to agree, the best thats ever been made. It’s still hard to watch him on Monk but I guess the only direction after this film was down.

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