The Silence of the Lambs is generally considered to be one of the greatest suspenseful thrillers in cinema history. A year after it’s February release, it swept the Oscars in the top 5 categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress. Whether you’re fascinated by psychological horror or looking for a chilling well told story, Silence of the Lambs will consume you! Let’s consider the pros and cons…
Pros: Although he only has 16 minutes of screen time, Anthony Hopkins transforms into the psychotic Hannibal Lecter, in an unforgettable performance that will haunt you well after the credits roll. The scenes with Foster and Hopkins are not only captivating, but they’re well shot and add to the unnerving tone of the film. There are obvious themes of good vs evil, but deeper than that, this movie deals with complex gender issues. Clarice must also overcome conventional gender roles as a woman in a male-dominated FBI. Buffalo Bill also struggles with gender and uses it as a prime motivator for his crimes.
Cons: Buffalo Bill is terrifying as the main antagonist, yet his character is overshadowed by the somehow even more menacing Hannibal Lecter. This softens the climax because although Bill is served justice, the more frightening character escapes it. The score is serviceable, but largely forgettable because it never gets a moment to shine in this dark film.
I give The Silence of the Lambs a solid A. The performances are superb and the story is thrilling, in spite of a restrained amount of gore and violence. Don’t forget the R rating and be prepared for a genuinely disturbing experience! Happy Watching!
“Good Evening, Clarice.”