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Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

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Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Old 02-05-10, 05:44 PM
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Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs



The Silence of the Lambs (1991)



IMDB | Trailer | Review

Selected by Trevor.

SYNOPSIS:
Spoiler:
When FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is assigned a case involving a monstrous serial killer, she seeks counsel from an imprisoned cannibalistic psychiatrist – Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), whose fascination with the young woman is as great as his hunger for murder.
As their relationship develops, Starling must confront her own demons – and an evil so powerful that she may not have the courage or strength to stop it!


FUN FACTS: The first moth cocoon found in one of the victim's throats was made from a combination of Tootsie Rolls and gummy bears, so that if swalled, it would be edible.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in these discussion threads, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Last edited by Chad; 05-02-10 at 05:08 PM.
Old 02-06-10, 08:58 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I don't know what really can be said about this that hasn't been said before. It's a classic for the modern age and is great in many aspects. Lecter as this evil man who "helps" solve the buffalo bill case. Or Buffalo Bill himself being this fucked up human being living admist a normal life. The escape scene is still one of the best scenes in any movie IMO. Never seen Manhunter, but the sequals after this stunk bad IMO. Not really a movie I figured to see in the Horror Movie club (since everyone should have seen it) 9/10
Old 02-07-10, 07:19 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

^ Manhunter is a very good film, Darkgod. There are some aspects of it that seem dated. I think the score is one of those because it just is so '80s, but it's a very good film.

As for Silence of the Lambs, I love the film. I had the VHS and watched it so many times that the tape started to wear out. I sort of agree with Darkgod that this film might not encourage as much discussion because most people have seen it and made "put the lotion in the basket" jokes aplenty already.

But here's a possible discussion point. Is Silence of the Lambs a horror movie? I know it is routinely labeled as such, but I don't consider it a horror movie. I think it falls more into the crime thriller or psychological thriller area. I would also put Seven into that category. I don't see either one of them as horror movies. Are they suspenseful movies? Yes. I don't think they are scary, though. If these are horror movies, then all those Ashley Judd serial killer movies should be considered horror and that recent Diane Lane movie. Just because there's a serial killer doesn't make it horror.
Old 02-07-10, 07:37 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Another talking point for a film that the majority has seen would be remembering back to when you viewed it for the first time. Did you catch it in the theater or at home? What was your immediate reaction?

Unlike many of my at-home viewings, I can recall exactly where I was sitting when I watched this movie. I was absolutely glued to my seat throughout. I can remember immediately talking with family afterwards, telling them that this was a "must-see".

Definitely one of my top 10 all-time favorite films.
Old 02-08-10, 11:40 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

This is one of my top 10 favorite films as well. I'm glad it was chosen because it gave me a reason to watch my blu-ray for the first time and it looked better than ever.

The scene near the end where Buffalo Bill is stalking Clarice in the basement is one of the creepiest scenes ever. The night vision goggles just add to the atmosphere. No matter how many times I've seen the movie, that scene still gets to me.

The odd thing is as much as I love this movie, I've never seen the sequels. I need to make a point to watch them someday.
Old 02-08-10, 07:59 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

This came out when I was a kid. Bored the hell out of me. I'm sure it's better now but it sure wasn't great for me back then.
Old 02-09-10, 07:49 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

It's a shame that the (pre)sequels have dampened the effectiveness of Lecter. Hopkins is genuinely menacing in this one. (the mis-pronunciation of Chianti by him is the only thing that bothers me) Everyone else in the cast is wonderful as well but I have to agree with clckworang, this seems to be of the crime-thriller variety.
Old 02-09-10, 04:30 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I still don't get
Spoiler:
how Lechter got the parts from the pen for his escape when he was bound and gagged.


What serial killers were the inspiration for Lechter and Buffalo Bill?
Old 02-09-10, 05:06 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Absolute classic and Hopkins is terrific as the sinister Dr. Lecter.
Old 02-09-10, 07:35 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I won't lie. I've never been a fan of this movie. I understand why its widely loved but I just could never get into it. Hopkins is fantastic in it however.
Old 02-09-10, 10:37 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Trout
What serial killers were the inspiration for Lechter and Buffalo Bill?
From Wikipedia:
Harris based Gumb on five real-life serial killers:

* Jerry Brudos, who would dress up in his victims' clothing and keep their shoes.
* Ed Gein, who fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin.
* Ted Bundy, who pretended to be injured and asked his victims for help, and then incapacitated and killed them.
* Gary M. Heidnik, who kidnapped six women and held them hostage as sex slaves.
* Edmund Kemper, who, like Gumb, killed his grandparents as a teenager "just to see what it felt like."
Old 02-09-10, 11:40 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by cysiam
From Wikipedia:
Harris based Gumb on five real-life serial killers:


* Gary M. Heidnik, who kidnapped six women and held them hostage as sex slaves.
C'mon this guys not THAT bad is he?
Old 02-10-10, 01:13 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Cox wipes the floor with Hopkins, IMO. The Lecter in Manhunter was way more terrifying.

Originally Posted by Larry C.
C'mon this guys not THAT bad is he?
Nah, I've done worse.
Old 02-10-10, 01:20 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by LickTheABCs
Cox wipes the floor with Hopkins, IMO. The Lecter in Manhunter was way more terrifying.



Nah, I've done worse.
Manhunter was terrific.
Old 02-10-10, 11:07 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Darkgod
Never seen Manhunter, but the sequals after this stunk bad IMO. Not really a movie I figured to see in the Horror Movie club (since everyone should have seen it)
As others have said, Manhunter is well worth a watch. In some ways, I think it's even better than this film, if you can ignore a couple dated aspects of it. Cox is terrific as Lector, better or on par with Hopkins, which is claiming a lot, I know. Hopkins is fantastic, and easily deserved his Oscar imo.

And I'm curious as to your last comment. Did I miss something? I don't remember anything about chosen films being unknown gems. I figured generating discussion was the main point of the Club, and a few 'big name films' every now and then may get more talk than several lesser-owned titles combined.
Old 02-10-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Trevor
And I'm curious as to your last comment. Did I miss something? I don't remember anything about chosen films being unknown gems. I figured generating discussion was the main point of the Club, and a few 'big name films' every now and then may get more talk than several lesser-owned titles combined.
Considering that we've only had 4 selections so far, and this was the first "mainstream" horror film, I think we've done well so far.

Shuttle was unknown, Don't Look Now and The Silent Scream were forgotten, so SOTL was a pick for the Horror Club/Academy Challenge participants.

I might not go goo goo gaa gaa over the film, but I think the selection is fine.
Old 02-12-10, 05:29 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Chad
FUN FACTS: The first moth cocoon found in one of the victim's throats was made from a combination of Tootsie Rolls and gummy bears, so that if swalled, it would be edible.
Somebody missed a helluva merchandising opportunity.

Originally Posted by clckworang
But here's a possible discussion point. Is Silence of the Lambs a horror movie?
It's a mix of genres, but I consider it horror.

Originally Posted by cysiam
(the mis-pronunciation of Chianti by him is the only thing that bothers me)
I always figured that was intentional, that Hannibal was mocking Clarice's accent.


As for the film, I think it's brilliant. The scenes where Hannibal and Clarice interact make up a small part of the movie, but they're some of the most memorable in film history. The way Demme maintains suspense is masterful. Ted Levine is effectively creepy, too. That scene where he kidnaps the woman by fooling her into his truck is terrifying because it feels so real (shame on you Capt. Stottlemeyer!).
Old 02-12-10, 07:59 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Chad
FUN FACTS: The first moth cocoon found in one of the victim's throats was made from a combination of Tootsie Rolls and gummy bears, so that if swalled, it would be edible.
Also part of the special features, and I guess this is fairly common in film/TV, but all the bodies were actual actors. I don't think I could do that, laying still without moving or breathing.
Originally Posted by Darkgod
The escape scene is still one of the best scenes in any movie IMO.
That is such a classic scene. The shot of him kneeling over Pembrey and wailing on him with the baton is perfectly shot and performed, and perhaps the most chilling scene I've ever seen in any film.
Originally Posted by clckworang
But here's a possible discussion point. Is Silence of the Lambs a horror movie? I know it is routinely labeled as such, but I don't consider it a horror movie. I think it falls more into the crime thriller or psychological thriller area. I would also put Seven into that category. I don't see either one of them as horror movies. Are they suspenseful movies? Yes. I don't think they are scary, though. If these are horror movies, then all those Ashley Judd serial killer movies should be considered horror and that recent Diane Lane movie. Just because there's a serial killer doesn't make it horror.
You're probably right. On one hand, I sometimes don't care much about film classification, considering almost every film a jumble of several genres and not really worrying about it. But sometimes I feel the opposite, and feel like we should be able to classify most films easily, and that horror is very different from thriller or suspense.

Silence of the Lambs does bridge the gap into horror though. For me, the main thing that makes a horror film a horror, is that the primary focus is to elicit terror from the viewer. And while Silence of the Lambs and Seven are thrillers on the surface, it seems as if the primary focus is on creating that fear and terror, much more so than most thrillers.
Old 02-12-10, 01:00 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by clckworang
But here's a possible discussion point. Is Silence of the Lambs a horror movie? I know it is routinely labeled as such, but I don't consider it a horror movie. I think it falls more into the crime thriller or psychological thriller area. I would also put Seven into that category. I don't see either one of them as horror movies. Are they suspenseful movies? Yes. I don't think they are scary, though. If these are horror movies, then all those Ashley Judd serial killer movies should be considered horror and that recent Diane Lane movie. Just because there's a serial killer doesn't make it horror.
So why are Gialli considered horror?
SoTL isn't usually considered horror only because horror films are usually looked down upon (imho of course).
Old 02-12-10, 03:10 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Trevor

That is such a classic scene. The shot of him kneeling over Pembrey and wailing on him with the baton is perfectly shot and performed, and perhaps the most chilling scene I've ever seen in any film.
The music in the background makes it for me... that its something considered beautiful, and heres this monster destroying a human life.
Old 02-13-10, 03:10 AM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I still haven't seen Manhunter, I really have to get around to that. I thought Red Dragon was pretty blah, Hannibal looked great but was pretty pointless and Hannibal Rising was numbingly awful.
Silence of the Lambs, however, is great. I absolutely love Buffalo Bill's character. There are so many great quotables in this movie, as well. I think I end up quoting this movie at least once a month.
Hannibal's escape is fantastic as well as the night vision scene.
Old 02-14-10, 07:09 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Originally Posted by Trevor
Also part of the special features, and I guess this is fairly common in film/TV, but all the bodies were actual actors. I don't think I could do that, laying still without moving or breathing.

That is such a classic scene. The shot of him kneeling over Pembrey and wailing on him with the baton is perfectly shot and performed, and perhaps the most chilling scene I've ever seen in any film.

You're probably right. On one hand, I sometimes don't care much about film classification, considering almost every film a jumble of several genres and not really worrying about it. But sometimes I feel the opposite, and feel like we should be able to classify most films easily, and that horror is very different from thriller or suspense.

Silence of the Lambs does bridge the gap into horror though. For me, the main thing that makes a horror film a horror, is that the primary focus is to elicit terror from the viewer. And while Silence of the Lambs and Seven are thrillers on the surface, it seems as if the primary focus is on creating that fear and terror, much more so than most thrillers.
I guess it's all subjective. I didn't get that vibe from the film, which isn't to say that I'm right and you're wrong, just that we both got something different from the film. It never approached fear or terror for me. Yes, it gave me the creeps and is very suspenseful, but I just never got scary from it. Maybe it has to do with watching it at so young an age. Although I don't really consider Seven a horror a film either, so I guess that theory gets thrown out the windwo.

Originally Posted by Trout
So why are Gialli considered horror?
SoTL isn't usually considered horror only because horror films are usually looked down upon (imho of course).
But I thought SoTL usually is considered horror.

Anyway, as far as giallo films go, I think there's a greater emphasis on the stalking and the kills, while SoTL is more about the aftermath and the investigation of the kills. It might be a subtle difference, but I think there is one. It probably depends on which individual giallo films we're talking about as well. I'm sure some probably follow horror conventions more than others.
Old 02-15-10, 07:36 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

Just watched this again tonight. This is one of my top 20 movies of all time. I first seen this in the theater back in 1991 and went back 3 times to watch it again. The casting was absolute perfection! You could argue that it has the best movie villains of all time (Hannibal and Buffalo Bill). The ending is classic. It definitely deserved all the awards it won.
Old 02-17-10, 06:50 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I always considered it Drama/Supspense.

When I first saw the movie as a teenager I was pretty disturbed by it, despite having watched a few slasher films. I ended up not finishing it.

Later I watched it again and thought it was an exceptional movie. Considering that alot of the scenes and content are over the top, the way it was acted, written and filmed makes it seem completely plausible and realistic.

That's why I found the prequel and sequel unenjoyable. HANNIBAL was too stylized and RED DRAGON was...dunno, by the numbers maybe.

MANHUNTER was interesting. I much preferred it to Red Dragon. I was very excited to see an alternate portrayal of Hannibal Lectur and was a little disappointed. Cox just didn't seem very menacing in the film. In the film, Lectur is this brilliant villain, even messing with the main characters mind, but it didn't seem very believable.
Old 02-17-10, 07:37 PM
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Re: Horror Film Club (February 8th) - The Silence of the Lambs

I'm not as big on it as I used to be. I think the later Hannibal films soured me on it, to be honest. I have a harder time taking the character seriously after seeing those. Still, the escape sequence is one of the most effective I've seen and the Buffalo Bill stuff is solid.

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