Written by John Edward Betancourt
It is interesting how much our past, for the sake of this article the bad, truly defines who we are as a person and determines our past and our future. Those moments that haunt us, despite our best efforts to shake them can sometimes influence our decision making or steer us clear of situations that remind us of yesteryear.
For some folks it goes to an extreme, the past simply consumes them and they face all the ugly in their lives every waking moment of every day, paralyzing their life. Despite all of this however we all share a common goal, to take the negative from days gone bye and use it to make our lives better. To learn and grow from it, to be strong people and make amazing decisions, and perhaps make the world a better place in doing so. It is that ideal that takes the stage in one of the finest horror films ever made...The Silence of the Lambs.
Clarice Starling is seeing her dreams come to fruition. She is a cadet with the FBI and she has just been handed a golden opportunity by renowned agent Jack Crawford. She is to interview legendary killer Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter in an effort to gain insight into a current case, the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. But while Clarice sees this as a time to shine, she will face an incredible challenge when speaking to Hannibal. For this man can see straight into a person's soul, and Clarice...now has his attention.
So when I said this motion picture is truly one of the finest horror films ever made, I stand by it because this is the first film in the genre to not only take home Best Picture at the Academy Awards but holy hell...it's scary. There are few moments in this motion picture that aren't filled with incredible tension, uncomfortable moments that leave you squirming and unsettled and this is a story that stays with you long after you've finished it and that's the mark of a great horror film.
Yet at the same time the movie is filled with incredible character development and greater concepts. The whole story of Clarice Starling for example, with her checkered past full of fear and ugly memories that drive her to be a Federal Agent and make the world a better place is a wonderful move for the film and played to perfection by Jodie Foster and she is of course anchored by one of the finest villains to ever hit the screen in Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins. His portrayal of Lecter is the stuff of legend. Lecter is often played in subdued fashion but Hopkins does such a fine job with the role that Hannibal commands the screen every second he appears on it. Madness and intellect ooze from the character, leaving the audience to fully believe that he is capable of anything and it makes the scene when Hannibal escapes all the more chilling because of it.
But of course all the terror centers around the nightmare that is Buffalo Bill. This is a character without remorse, who kills because of a greater need, at least in his mind and that makes the scenes where he interacts with the senator's daughter some of the most frightening moments in cinema that I have ever seen. In fact, the more I think about it...this is a film that is practically flawless.
Every single scene in this movie works and the tension builds moment by moment and it deserves every bit of praise it has received. If by some chance you haven't seen this one, just buy it and add it to your collection. It's a horror film that provides a sense of hope in Clarice Starling after robbing you of it with Hannibal and Buffalo Bill and something like that is just so rare to find in the genre. Truly, this one is a masterpiece.