Silence of the Lambs

Year: 1991

Director: Jonathan Demme

Written by: Ted Tally

Threat: Psychopath

Weapon of Choice: Teeth

Based upon: novel - Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris

IMDb page: IMDb link

      Silence of the Lambs - Widescreen Silence of the Lambs - DVD

Other movies in this series:
Manhunter / Red Dragon

Rish Outfield's reviews
As everyone knows, in Jonathan Demme's masterpiece, a rookie FBI agent consults a captured serial killer to catch an even nastier one, right? Well, if you don't know, log off and go rent it.
When I initially reviewed this film, I wondered aloud if it was Horror or not. Now, with a few hundred more flicks under my belt, I feel there's no question about it. I committed the now-shameful sin of calling The Silence of the Lambs "a psychological thriller," the term people who hate horror films use to justify seeing them. It's a hypocrite's word, and I've publicly derided those cowards who rely on it. Well, my foot is in my mouth, but let's forget about that and move on.
Jodie Foster delivers a powerful, living performance that would bring me to tears if I was capable of human feeling. She's multi-faceted, intelligent, great to watch, this was the film that made me a Jodie Foster fan. Even so, it's clearly Anthony Hopkins's movie. Hopkins's performance as Hannibal Lecter has been scrutinized and praised a thousand times, so there's nothing I can add to what's been said. His Hannibal Lecter is so riveting and original, that he will always be associated with the role, even though it came twenty years into his career. He's a fascinating character, menacing yet attractive, brilliant yet savage, intimidating yet likable (whoops, I guess I tried to add something). Buffalo Bill, played by Ted Levine, is one of the most disturbing and frightening characters I've ever seen. Just the thought of "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again" makes me cringe. And if you look closely, you can see horror movie filmmakers Roger Corman and George A. Romero (plus singer Chris Isaak) in bit parts.
The dialogue (very faithful to the Thomas Harris novel) is so perfect even the non-schizophrenic find themselves reciting it. It is bleak and graphic, and I recall that when it was released, I had to lie to my mother about going to see it (in hindsight, I didn't HAVE to lie, I just chose to). But it's also sort of an art film. In fact, this is the most honored horror film in history (if they'll admit that it's a horror film), winning all five main Oscar statues in 1992. Cool.
Best Scare: The final confrontation with "Buffalo Bill." VERY tense.
I'd Recommend It To: Any movie fan able to take it.

The tyranist's thoughts
Hannibal Lecter is simply the most convincingly amoral person I've ever seen on the screen. He is the truly frightening part of this movie. Buffalo Bill is merely a convenience to introduce us to the doctor. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster deliver intensity that is simply not present in most horror shows. While I doubt that most people would list this as a horror film (if simply because the Academy would never consider a "horror" film worthy of 7 Oscar nominations), I think this is horror in the purest sense. When there is something out there that would willingly kill us all and yet is the most intelligent person we've ever met, it is time to be afraid.

Total Skulls: 9

Sequel setup skull
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut skull
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer skull
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth skullskull
Warning goes unheeded
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later
Flashback sequence skull
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim skull
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore skull
No one dies at all
Virgin survives skull
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell?