Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
I’d like to start by saying welcome to the 100th post of Saturday is Horror Day! Little did I know when I first began to write this weekly adventure into the horror genre that it would last this long, but here we are. My first review is for the movie Smile, but I am going to look for something I like better before I post this for a second review. Thanks for taking the journey with me, hope you are enjoying the reviews and plan to continue to ride along!
Psychiatrist Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) has a disturbing encounter with a patient who insists that she is being stalked by an entity who changes faces and forms, but has only one constant – its smile. Trying to probe further into the young woman’s problems, their session comes to a chilling end, traumatizing Rose. Having witnessed her suicide, not only can Rose not get it out of her mind, but she is beginning to see strange things herself. The more she sees, the less people believe or trust her, and she is about to become a part of the same institution where she works, except for viewing it from the inside! Will no one save her from the creature who smiles?
I will admit this was a creepy film, but not anything extraordinary. Decent writing and acting, but a not
overly complex plot which isn’t even fully explained. I never did understand who or what the creature was. Nonetheless it’s worth watching at least once. If for no other reason, than to see Kal Penn as Rose’s boss. Also, Robin Weigert plays Rose’s therapist. A good evening’s entertainment. I’ll give it 3.5 Stars
I decided to rewatch one of my favorite films for this post, hope you enjoy it too!
Silence of the Lambs
FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is called into the office of her supervisor, Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), the last thing she expects is to receive an actual field assignment. He tells her that they are doing a survey among a number of known and incarcerated serial killers for a study. Most of them have been cooperative, but one in particular has not and he wants Starling to approach him with the survey and to see if she can get answers out of him. Clarice is surprised that this seems to take priority right now, what with the killer Buffalo Bill on the loose – so-called because he likes to skin his humps. But what can she do but obey? So off to Baltimore she goes.
Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) has been incarcerated at the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane for a dozen years. He is held securely behind a wall of glass at the end of the hall. The director of the hospital, Dr. Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald) is not only obnoxious but ambitious. He’s miffed when Clarice snubs his advances and his assistance. Dr. Lecter becomes intrigued by Clarice and her naivete and toys with her. But when another inmate disrespects her, he gives her some actual information.
Clarice follows the clues Lecter obliquely gave her and discovers a severed head in the back seat of an
old car in a storage unit. Crawford takes her with him unexpectedly after the discovery of another corpse in West Virginia, and she suddenly realizes she has become part of the Buffalo Bill case. In the meantime, Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith), daughter of Senator Ruth Martin (Diane Baker) is kidnapped, and finds herself at the bottom of a well, being told to put the lotion on her skin.
Jealous of Clarice’s continued association with Lecter, Dr Chilton bugs his cell and learns some interesting information that Crawford has fed to Lecter through Starling. But Chilton decides to make his own deal with the distraught senator in hopes of fostering his own career. However, he’ll learn soon enough what it means to make an enemy of Hannibal Lecter. Clarice is racing against time, as Buffalo Bill is known to kill his victims after three days. But why? And what is the meaning of the marks on their backs? And why a death’s head moth?
Tick tock, tick tock…time is ticking, Clarice…
Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs is a magnificent thriller that keeps you guessing to the very last minute. Jodie Foster shines as Clarice, the naive young woman whose greatest desire is to be in the FBI, and aspires to be a profiler. Scott Glenn is her supervisor, Jack Crawford, who takes a chance on a trainee to entice Lecter into helping with the Buffalo Bill case, although he doesn’t tell her that. Ted Levine is incredible as Jame Gumb (I am a huge Ted Levine fan) and his dance is pretty amazing. But the star of the show, without a doubt, is Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, one of the most fascinating characters to be found both in the book and on the silver screen. Prior to this, there was a film of the novel Red Dragon, called Manhunter, which starred Brian Cox as Lecter. But once Hopkins assumed the role, it became his.
Direction, acting, writing – this film has it all. And it stands up to repeated viewings. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this. I’ll give this film 5 Stars.