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The Silence Of The Lambs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Rated R (Adult language, adult situations, graphic violence, and gory deaths)

Behavioral science is a branch of the FBI that involves the study of serial killers. The job requires guts, determination, extreme intelligence and skill. In "Silence of the Lambs," Clarice Starling is going to explore the mind of a serial killer.

Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, an FBI agent-in-training who has been given the most challenging assignment of her life. While Starling's training is in progress, a serial killer dubbed "Buffalo Bill" is on the loose. FBI behavioral science head Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) gives Starling the dangerous assignment of finding "Buffalo Bill." First, however, Starling must interview serial murderer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), better known as "Hannibal the Cannibal." There are some important rules that Starling must follow when talking to Lecter, including not accepting any gifts and not approaching the glass shield in Lecter's cell too closely. In addition, Starling feels that exploring the mind of Hannibal Lecter will lead her to "Buffalo Bill," who has gruesomely murdered five women.

In the dark basement of a Baltimore psychiatric facility, Starling sees the sickening appearances of other inmates. When listening to Lecter's words, she tries to identify clues to "Buffalo Bill." Lecter is an artist, too. His drawings give Starling an indication of what type of murderer he is.

During these conversations, Starling's childhood is revealed. Starling, an orphan, frequently had nightmares about screaming lambs being slaughtered. She still has those nightmares. To move even further, Lecter starts to dig into her mind. There is one catch: Starling was supposed to prevent Lecter from psychologically and emotionally taking advantage of her.

After her conversations with Lecter, clues concerning "Buffalo Bill" lead the FBI to Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri. Bodies have been found in those states. The search for this "Buffalo Bill" killer continues.

"The Silence of the Lambs" is an eerie look into the minds of serial killers. This film explores some of the reasons people commit murders. Though ambiguous in his explanation, Lecter mentions that life and human nature have left him a ruined, unfortunate man. Viewers can wonder about whether or not a poor childhood, a poor life, or just a deranged mind can cause an otherwise "nice" person to commit murder or cannibalism, especially in the case of Lecter.

Jodie Foster gives another Oscar caliber performance. Foster's Clarice Starling makes viewers think about the trauma and fear that she faces as she explores the mind of a dangerous psychopath. No matter what the odds, Starling is determined to accomplish her mission. Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter is a frightening portrait of an ordinary man whose life has turned sour. Viewers can feel the venom and the power of Lecter's words and actions.

For director Jonathan Demme, after "Something Wild" and "Married to the Mob," this is a change of pace. In this horror movie, Demme and screenplay writer Ted Tally paint a dark, frightening portrait of a human society turned upside-down by murder, mental illness, death and destruction. The fantastic performances of Foster, Hopkins and Glenn add suspense to this scary portrait of a human society gone wrong. This film's gore and bloodshed do get out of hand at times, and is often hard to take. Aside from this, "Silence of the Lambs" makes great horror entertainment, especially for avid horror fans. n

Rating MNM




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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