An accomplished, effective, grisly, and exceptionally sick slasher film that I can't with any conscience recommend, because the purposes to which it places its considerable ingenuity are ultimately rather foul.
This multi-Oscar-winning classic, adapted from Thomas Harris's bestseller, was responsible for giving cinematic serial killers a better image, thanks to Anthony Hopkins's enthralling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter.
The juiciest part is Hopkins,' and he makes the most of it. Helped by some highly dramatic lighting, actor makes the role the personification of brilliant, hypnotic evil, and the screen jolts with electricity whenever he is on.
Understandably, much has been made of Hopkins' hypnotic Lecter, but the laurels must go to Levine's killer, admirably devoid of camp overstatement, and to Foster, who evokes a vulnerable but pragmatic intelligence.