The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Film Review

Hello Clarice. Please be aware that the following review may contain a spoiler or two so be careful if you haven’t seen 1991’s ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, Starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. This, before last night, was one of my biggest film confessions. I’d never seen The Silence of the Lambs. For a bit of a horror fan, like myself, this is pretty shameful – but I’ve finally seen it and can now review it for all of you guys! *faint hooray in distance*

Firstly, the acting in this film is phenomenal. I’d compare the acting in this to ‘The Dark Knight’, in the terms that the ‘villain’ is played brilliantly and the protagonist isn’t bad either. This acting was believable but what stood out was Hopkins’ performance – Lecter was played so creepily that I was even pretty freaked out by Hopkins. Apart from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, not many other people had much to do. Scott Glenn, who played Jack Crawford perhaps had a bit of work to do, but really, everyone else just had minor roles. Acting Rating – 10/10.

The plot to The Silence of the Lambs is interesting, thrilling and surprising. It was a breath of fresh air compared to some of the ‘questionable’ plots I have reviewed so far. This film is just in another league compared to many films over the years and especially for a film based on a novel, it’s been adapted to screenplay effectively. The story was also consistently good throughout the whole film and did not deteriorate towards the end. Story Rating – 9/10.

The cinematography in this film was orchestrated by Tak Fujimoto, the same man responsible for The Sixth Sense and Signs. There sure were some nice shots, especially at the end and at the beginning – but there were not enough for the cinematography to be as good as other elements of this movie. Cinematography Rating – 8/10.

This film used music as all thriller/horror films should – to create tension in certain scenes – but not all the time. Composer Howard Shore – the man responsible for the music in two of my favourite movies – The Lord of the Rings and Panic Room, created a soundtrack which blended fear and suspense to match that of the film itself. I was impressed with the music, as it served it’s purpose in the film itself. Music Rating – 9/10.

Creativity, this film has plenty of that. The perfect amount, not completely over the top *cough* like Saw *cough* but a perfect blend of unique and realistic. Credit goes to Thomas Harris for the original books about Lecter but also credit to all the staff here and Hopkins in particular for capturing the true essence of the cannibalistic psychiatrist turned serial killer. Creativity Rating – 10/10.

For a film in 1991, the special effects were pretty impressive. The dead bodies and gunshots were realistic, better than Def-Con 4 anyway. For the time period when this film was made, I have to cut it some slack because of course it’s not going to be perfect – we are yet to enter the Post-Jurassic Park special effects. Special Effects Rating – 9.

Suspense was always going to be much present in a horror/thriller film about a serial killer. There would be something seriously wrong if there was not much tension throughout this film – fortunately, there was tension and it was very gripping, especially during Clarice’s pursuit of ‘Buffalo Bill’ towards the end. There wasn’t too much suspense but it was there at the right times. Suspense Rating – 10/10.

Overall, I have come to the conclusion that I really was missing out on something truly brilliant. Therefore, I award The Silence of the Lambs with a 4 and a half star rating! 





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