When in doubt, stick to the classics. I have watched this film countless times and still enjoy each viewing. It’s an intriguing story, one that’s been done to death nowadays but enlisting a psychopath to aid in the capture of a serial killer is a pretty fantastical concept. I mean, who knows the mind of a crazed killer better than an equally crazed killer? FBI trainee, Clarice Starling is enlisted to profile, Buffalo Bill, an active serial killer who is murdering women and taking pieces of their skin. Her director assigns her to interview Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist and face-eating serial killer to gather some insight into Buffalo Bill. Lecter is happy to oblige if Starling is willing to tell him personal details about her life. Which, seems like a terrible idea and probably the first thing they tell you not to do in Serial Killer Catching 101. Her desire to catch Bill obviously clouds Starling’s judgement and she engages in this creepy quid pro quo arrangement. Ultimately, Lecter does somewhat help solve the case in really roundabout way that almost costs Starling her life but Bill’s most recent, high-profile victim is found alive thanks to her persistence.
The more times that I see this film, the more I dislike Lecter. I mean, I don’t think that the audience is supposed to like a face-eating serial killer but at first glance, he’s this super smart, kind of charming doctor who just happened to get caught killing people. In reality, he really is an asshole. From implying that Starling was only chosen for the job because her boss wants to sleep with her to calling her a backwoods hussy, I think Lecter was a misogynist and I just don’t like him. By today’s standards, the film is surprisingly tame, while there are some shocking parts it never feels out of place or forced and it’s what you aren’t seeing that builds momentum. Anyway, it’s one of my all-time faves and it never ceases to be enjoyable.
Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List