Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Mike Matei / October 12th, 2015


  • akira_akuma

    October 12, 2015 at 3:16 am

    a classic, among classics.

    • akira_akuma

      October 12, 2015 at 3:17 am

      and Manhunter is fuckin’ awesome too. the killer is scary as fuck.

      • October 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Yeah, Manhunter is actually my favorite of the series. I love the aesthetic of it, and it’s version of Lector was great in his own right.

      • October 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        I loved all five of the movies (and a series too) and I’m also a fan of writer Thomas Harris and his original books. Also, I liked “Manhunter” more then “Red Dragon” and, despite I really love the franchise at a whole, “Hannibal” is on of my 25 most favorite movies.

  • Mike Grabas

    October 12, 2015 at 3:17 am

    great vid James! Love this movie

  • coolguyhino92

    October 12, 2015 at 3:18 am

    God I love this series.

  • October 12, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Not only is Roger Corman in the film, but George A Romero too!

    • October 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      You just blew my mind!

    • October 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Indeed, movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, where George A. Romero lives and they just thought he would be a nice addition. It is interesting that considering that Hopkind and Foster had directed a few movies too the movie has a total of at least 5 directors in it’s cast (Demme has an obligatory walk-on past Hannibal in the final shot).

    • October 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Not only is Roger Corman in the film, but George A Romero too!
      Yup, the bearded guy with the walkie talkie at the Sailors and Soldiers museum, where Lecter was transfered.

  • October 12, 2015 at 3:33 am

    classic 😀

  • Don Skiver

    October 12, 2015 at 6:17 am

    This was one of those films that got a little too far under my skin to enjoy. It just wasn’t for me.

  • October 12, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I would just like to point out that the character of Hannibal is NOT insane and NOT deranged. He’s a high class intellectual that, out of sheer curiosity, just decided to take up cannibalism. So he’s just evil, and that’s why the character works so well…. Buffalo Bill isn’t scary because his insanity locks him into a particular pattern (kidnapping and skinning women)… all one has to do is break the pattern and he is powerless. Hannibal on the other hand will adapt.

    • Deathbringer

      October 12, 2015 at 8:19 am

      Insanity and genius aren’t mutually exclusive… No “sane” person takes up cannibalism out of curiosity. He can be the smartest guy in the world, be able to read people perfectly, and still be deranged or insane at his core. Contradictory nature is common in human beings, if you hadn’t noticed. You call it just “evil” but that difference in ethics/morality gets you classed as insane by most standards in medicine today…

  • Deathbringer

    October 12, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Anthony Hopkins best performance of all time, in my opinion.

  • October 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

    …full screen. Do you only own the full screen version??

  • October 12, 2015 at 9:34 am

    ROGER CORMAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • October 12, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I hate the way the academy award treat good films from genres they don’t like. Most people who like ‘The Dark Knight’ prefer to call it a crime drama instead of a superhero film. And the one time an animated movie was nominated for best picture (Beauty and the Beast) they immediately gave animated films their own category the next year.
    And don’t even get me started on the academy award’s treatment of science fiction and fantasy films or the LEGO movie snub…

    • October 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      But Return of the King, a fantasy movie, completely swept the Oscars and the other LOTR movies did well too.

    • einkerl

      October 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      The Best Animated Feature category came 10 years after Beauty and the Beast.

  • Cilliandrew

    October 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

    It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again..

  • October 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I’d like to believe it’s a horror movie just as much as James does. I like where he’s coming from, but I respectfully disagree. I think the movie winks a lot at the horror genre, but ultimately it’s a police procedure about an FBI-agent tracking down a killer, with Lecter as a supporting character, thus by definition (I think) a categorical thriller, just like the novel (which isn’t a horror novel either, but very much in the suspense tradition, with Sherlock Holmes being the clearest influence on Lecter).

    I agree that the horror genre is scoffed at (though perhaps to a lesser degree today), but I think it’s precisely because horror movies try to scare you – just as comedies try to make you laugh, there’s a basic simplicity to them that make them subject for disdain, and horror is worse off than comedy because of how it’s almost synonymous with exploitation and b-movies.

    But anyway, horror isn’t thriller and thriller isn’t horror. The inclusion of mad characters seem like an arbitrary way of judging it (is Silence of the HAMS a horror movie too?) and while I think a thriller can be defined as a movie (or a novel) where the plot consists of any combination of thriller-tropes, a movie is a horror movie when a horrific concept is the basis for the entire story – and there are excellent films like that: Halloween, The Birds, Exorcist, Alien, Henry, Nosferatu, The Shining, these are clearly not thrillers nor are they any other genre than horror. Silence of the Lambs is definitely a scary movie but I think it’s a thriller, just like Se7en.

  • Pablo1989

    October 12, 2015 at 9:58 am

    “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
    Did i need say more 😀

  • Mac Tonight

    October 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Ok movie for me, never understood all the hype. Still better than the sequel Hannibal though.

  • Daniel Fonseca

    October 12, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Awesome movie! Review 28 days later please!

  • Satnav

    October 12, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Yeah, I’d say Silence of the Lambs is a thriller, that happens to have horror elements. I agree with James that the horror genre could use more respect, but in this case, the objective of the film is to intrigue rather than horrify. If you want to go that way, you could start calling things like Zodiac a horror. That being said, I agree that this film is awesome, and so is Lecter. That’s one common ground I think we all have.

  • October 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    This movie is soooo overrated. Hopkins was over the top to the point of being silly, and Jodie Foster was just annoying. Lame movie.

  • STeVo808

    October 12, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Man, the videos on this page take ages to load..

  • Smashole

    October 12, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Please delete my account. Thank you.

  • October 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t consider this a horror movie. More of a thriller/crime/suspense movie.

    • October 12, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      All of the three genres are very indefinite to say the least – crime could be a central point in horror, drama, comedy or action movie, suspense is a method which can be used in any of those genres as well and it always puzzles me whenever someone uses term “thriller” on whatever makes it a separate genre from horror in the eyes of a beholder.

      • October 13, 2015 at 9:08 am

        Well there’s the eye of the beholder, then there’s certain facts that people (myself included) also relate to. Historically, horror and thriller have two separate timelines going back way into the 1800s, so calling thriller “indefinite” is not really true as it’s one of the most specific, clearly defined and characteristic genres of all. Crime is a sub-genre and suspense, I agree, is a concept (I never understood how that’s a genre).

        The original difference between the two genres is basically that a thriller is a suspenseful depiction of dramatic events in the real world, with a lot of realistic and circumstantial details and technicalities in the plot (Féval, Doyle, Christie, THOMAS HARRIS) while horror derives from man’s ancient beliefs in the supernatural and try to evoke a direct emotion of amazement and horror, regardless of context (Walpole, Poe, Shelley, Lovecraft, King, NOT Harris).

        Then again, horror could of course be defined by anyone as any movie anyone finds “scary” but if so, isn’t horror the most indefinite genre of all? Kind of like an alfa-omega genre ruling over all other scary movies. Of course most modern thriller and horror movies are related, and kind of merge at some point, but I think if we’re to bother with being specific, and actually categorize Lambs by content, it’s not only a thriller but a classic, textbook thriller. If it’s a horror movie, the thriller genre doesn’t even exist.

  • October 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    You should watch Hannibal the TV series. Amazing.

  • Jackred89

    October 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    This movie is an classic that many people need to see. One of the absolute best movie based on book adaptations around. I could call it an horror movie for many reasons. Words can’t excess how good this movie actually is until you see it for yourselves.

  • October 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I would highly recommend the TV series Hannibal!

  • October 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I’m one of the few who liked the sequel, Hannibal.

    The movie is really out there, but that’s what I found appealing.

    I’d love to hear more of James’ thoughts on the follow-ups.

    Worst sequel to a high profile film? I thought those distinctions belonged to Exorcist 2 and Die Hard 5.

    • October 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Actually despite I really love franchise at a whole, “Hannibal” had something into me clicking so much that it is one of my 25 favorite movies and not “Silence of the Lambs” or “Manhunter” which are really close too. It may not be perfect (as is “Color of Night” which is also one of 25 favorites despite many people considering it a really bad movie – I doesn’t even argue with that – it is just that I personally like it so much it happens to be on the list). Also, “Hannibal” had terrific performances by Giancarlo Giannini and Ray Liotta and Hopkins and Moore did some great jobs too, as did Oldman.

  • October 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Red Dragon is better than just okay. Buzz off. :p Also, actually my friend who’s a major horror fan says Silence of the Lambs is more of a thriller so that kinda puts a damper on your theory that it gets called “not horror” because of elitism tbh.

    • October 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      In fact, “Manhunter” beats “Red Dragon” for style, atmosphere and, partially, acting (both Fiennes and Norton are okay, but not as memorable as Tom Noonan and William Petersen in respective roles), but it still wins for not trying to copy it, despite having the same DOP and a few other cast and crew members onboard. I also like how “Red Dragon” uses scenes and moments that were abandoned from the novel by “Manhunter”.

  • October 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I remembering hearing about this movie and I’ve even quoted it several times. I would love to this movie along with other good horror movies such as Jacob’s Ladder. Good review, James. By the way, can you review the 2014 Australian horror film The Babadook? I watched it four times and it still scares the hell out of me.

  • danecookhater

    October 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I don’t think it’s that great of a film. It’s okay but I think it’s really overrated.

  • GZilla2010

    October 12, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I still wouldn’t call this a horror film. It wasn’t frightening at all, although it was unsettling. It just doesn’t give off a horror vibe to me. It really is a fantastic film however.

  • October 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Every time I see one of these unscripted videos, I get all excited… and then Mike starts talking.

  • Karl Koch

    October 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Eh, I still don’t consider this a horror film. It’s a crime drama. I wouldn’t call CSI a horror tv show.

  • fiend4racks

    October 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    i live 2 miles from the house that was wild bill’s its in perryopolis PA, and just sold for like 3ook

  • gluserty

    October 13, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Yeah, this here is a horror film, as mentioned in the documentary “Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film”.

  • handsome pete

    October 13, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I thought the movie Hannibal was pretty good. Hannibal Rising is a different story.

  • Elwin Rijken

    October 13, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Great review James!
    Interesting thought here: When I was a kid and was in the vhs stores to rent a scary film, the difference between the horror and thriller sections was found in the fact that the horror section provided supernatural evil and the thrillers section provided human evil. I hold that up as a difference and it works for me.

  • greedo

    October 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I finally saw this film on TV one day, and it was good. Having said that, I was surprised that Hannibal was not the main character, and that, while grisly at points, was not as bloody as you’d expect an R-rated film to be. Having said that… it’s not my cup of tea.

    • einkerl

      October 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      But if it was on TV, wouldn’t it be less bloody?

  • TheHorsecockExpress

    October 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    This is the only time I have to stone cold disagree with you. Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill is so much scarier than Hopkins as Hannibal it’s not even funny. Don’t get me wrong I love Hopkins but Levine is so much better.

  • Sweetdeath

    October 13, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    This movie will always remain a classic. I saw it when I was about 13 and will never ever forget it. I always felt Hannibal Lecter was the more memorable villain of the two, and his relationship with Clarice was wonderfully portrayed. they had great chemistry every time they spoke.

  • Spottedfeather

    October 13, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    In what world is Silence Of The Lambs horror ? Scary ? Sure. Slasher ? Maybe. But not horror. Just because a movie is scary doesn’t make it horror….

  • October 14, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Hannibal was an awesome movie, are you cracked? So was Red Dragon in fact, and Rising was way different but good in it’s uniqueness.

    What the hell is wrong with Hannibal?

  • October 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Amazing movie. Hopkins was brilliant.

  • Nathan Rienstra

    October 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I was always the opposite; I always found Buffalo Bill to be a more interesting character than Hannibal, because Bill was the one the movie never revealed as much about. The fact that he wasn’t on screen nearly as often made me anticipate the scenes he was in all the more. I found myself wanting to understand more about Bill’s personality, but then ultimately finding myself appreciative of the fact that the movie left more to speculate in that regard. Things like that are what keep a character interesting in my opinion. The portrayal of Hannibal, on the other hand, was very much out in the open. It wasn’t long before I was able to tell myself, “Alright, this guy might be pretty messed up, but at least I have a pretty solid understanding of what he’s like, and how he’s likely to respond to certain situations.” His personality was made known and fairly consistent to the audience. Consequently, I never really found anything he did to be that unpredictable. Even when he escaped from prison (which wasn’t that surprising in itself), we more or less knew he had this respect for Clarice that would prevent him from wanting to harm her in any way.

  • October 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Aside from Roger Corman there’s a little known Cameo from George Romero. He’s one of the FBI agents that shows to Transfer Hannibal when he’s in the cage in the big room right before he escapes. Check it out

  • October 14, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I only got around to watching this movie two years ago, and it shot up to one of my favorites of the genre. I largely knew all of the film’s beats through cultural osmosis, and parodies, but as a fan of horror and at the age of 28, this movie had remained one of my “on the queue” films.

    Glad I watched it because as James said, this film is a masterpiece.

  • TagaZok

    October 18, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    just begun the series and damn I love as i loved silence of the lamb …I agreed Hopkins is great in the role of Hannibal always great review great movie James .

  • ChristianSCWS

    October 23, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I find buffalo bill way more creepy than hannibal. There are a terrifyingly high number of men with those sorts of intense gender issues.

  • Ben_from_G-town

    October 31, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Yeah, Silence of the Lambs is awesome, and it’s definitely a horror movie. Good review.

  • OverFlo207

    November 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I remember the Nostalgia Critic saying he preferred Buffalo Bill as the best part of the movie, and saying Hannibal’s performance was too hammy to take seriously. I personally like Buffalo Bill the most. I find the ideas around his insanity more engaging, that he takes becoming a woman to such extremes…because he can’t afford a sex change?

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