Silence of the Lambs

Chilling Crime

Main Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine

Director: Jonathan Demme

silence of the lambsThe template crime thriller of this age, this seeming languid-moving film packs quite a punch, even today. A good indication of quality is how a movie ages: if it can hold out and be relevant over the years then it deserves a place of honor.

This is a tale of a serial killer, known as “Buffalo Bill.” His stalking and capture scenes are shockingly brutal, the terror and helplessness of his victims quite evident. You get the feeling of real life here, something happening that could very well be going on somewhere else, and right now. Some modern thrillers cast aside realism for special effects or implausible action, and they would do well to study classics such as this to learn how to add weight to their scenes.

The killer is pursued by Clarise Starling (Foster), a quick-witted cop who has to overcome the male-dominated law-enforcement world. But even the best need help on occasion, and that’s where Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lechter (Hopkins) steps in. A killer himself, he is locked up in a very secure place: the movie goes to great lengths to show just how dangerous this man is. Cultured and fiercely intelligent, his only seeming motive is curiosity and rapport with Clarise.

As the new killer stalks outside, Clarise and Lechter play mind games of their own. She needs his view on life to better understand, and hopefully capture, this new threat. Even if what comes out of his twisted mind is not pleasant… which, as you can guess, it probably is.

This is not a wall-to-wall action movie, with shootings and blood every five seconds. It builds suspense and doles out terror, just at the right points. The supporting cast is just as good, and the locations all add to the slightly melancholy, drizzle-dread feel of the entire project. I definitely recommend this one to all thriller lovers.

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