31 Horror Films #27: Silence of the Lambs 1991 Dir. Jonathan Demme

Last year I did a series of daily micro blogs going through the history of horror films by year. This was meant to give people an example of the high points of the genre. This year I'll be doing the same thing, but going off the beaten path to provide some films you may not have heard of. These films may not be up your alley, but they're all interesting.

Silence of the Lambs 1991 Dir. Jonathan Demme

A "thriller" is a horror film that wins awards. Thrillers are seen as serious stories for serious people. If horror is a Tales From The Crypt comic, "thrillers" is the novel Frankenstein. Because of this code switching, there are a few horror movies that fly under the radar disguised as the more respectable title of "thriller". One of these films is Silence of the Lambs.

As I've written before, horror stories have their roots in fairy tales and morality plays. And Silence, fits the mold. There is so much about this film that smacks of classic Grimm's fairy tales. Jame Gumb could easily be the troll under the bridge, or the wolf dressing up as grandmother. Clarice Starling is a combination of both the little girl lost, and the huntsman who saves her, and Hannibal, well he has more in common with a wicked queen.

For those of you who haven't seen it*, Silence of the Lambs follows young FBI investigator Clarice Starling as she tries to uncover a series of murders in which the victims have been partially skinned. To gain insight into the work of this mad man, she holds interviews with one of the greatest monsters ever put to screen, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs is tense and terrifying, filled with gruesome terror but coated in a veneer of respectable artistry, which makes it a lot like the character of Hannibal Lecter now that I think about it.

*They exist. I chatted with one of these people the other day.

Watch the trailer HERE

ON TO 31 HORROR FILMS (2013) #26 THE OLD DARK HOUSE 1932 DIR. JAMES WHALE