I am no longer 100%, but I believe that I saw “Manhunter” (1986) before I saw “The Silence Of The Lambs”. I wonder why I never reviewed “Manhunter”, because it is not only the first of the ‘Hannibal the cannibal’ films, but also the best. A while ago I wanted to see the classic “The Silence Of The Lambs” again and found out that I only have it on VHS. That little thing is solved now, so 15 years after it came out, I rewatched the psychological serial killer thriller with which the genre had a flying start that has not ended today.
I am sure you all saw this film and know how the story goes. The then 29-year-old and a bit too youthfull looking Jody Foster plays the promising FBI-agent Clarice Starling as the FBI is hunting a serial killer. Clarice has the idea that the famous and convicted serial killer Hannibal Lector would be able to shed light on the investigation. She visits Lector in his extremely guarded cell trying to bargain information that can help the investigation. Lector does not just share his cooperation, navigating Starling into a difficult position. What is more, Lector manages to use the whole situation to his own benefit.
“The Silence Of The Lambs” has a very gloomy atmosphere that still ‘works’. There is not a whole lot of gruesomeness, but there is a continuing suggestion of it; an element that had not yet found its way into Hollywood filmmaking until then. The slow pace, lengthy dialogues and Lector’s psychological terror make this film a true classic that deserves to be watched still. The only thing is that the soundtrack could have been better in hindsight.