Episode 27: The Silence of the Lambs

Episode 27: Silence of the LambsLoren and Scott get creeped out by The Silence of the Lambs.

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This Week’s Film: The Silence of the Lambs

From Netflix: In this pulse-pounding adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel, FBI trainee Clarice Starling ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned homicidal cannibal. Starling needs clues to help her capture a serial killer; unfortunately, her Faustian relationship with Lecter soon leads to his escape and now, two deranged killers are on the loose.

Scott Properly Answers Loren’s Question

When Loren asked me about the relevance horror films have in today’s society, I didn’t have a great answer for him.  Now, having had a bit of time, I’ve been able to come up with two theories:

  1. Horror films can provide a sense of justice.  If you watch the news or if you have friends who like to share every disturbing news report they find, then you know monsters like Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter are real.  Far too often, all we hear about are the abductions and the murders.  Every once and a while, we’re also “treated” to the guilty party also being sentenced to life imprisonment — but, depending on the crimes, there may be little satisfaction to be had.  Movies such as Silence of the Lambs allow us to champion the rookie detective who is able to track down the killer and make him or her pay for their crimes — often in a bloody and visceral way.  Knowing that in their final moments the monsters feel fear and pain can be incredibly satisfying to a hurting and angry audience.
  2. We like to be horrified.  I have some friends who would strongly disagree with the previous sentence, but it’s hard to argue with.  Two thousand years ago, we would gather in the Colosseum to watch wild animals tear apart people we didn’t like.  It was sport.  It was entertainment.  Today, sit in darkened theaters watching monsters tear apart people we don’t like.  It’s horrifying.  We squirm.  We shield our eyes and lose our appetite.  But we don’t stop doing it.  We’ve been doing it for thousands of years.  There’s clearly a part of us that, quite simply, enjoys it.


About Scott

Writer. Day Dreamer. Narnian.


  1. Claudiu Dobre says:

    I’m not even necessarily a big fan of horror movies per se, although I do watch tons of them. But most of the ones I watch I end up hating or being completely indifferent to. But I still watch them, in search of the few that I will actually enjoy, because the genre, when done right, has some important elements that I look for in these types of movies – to name a few of the most important ones: atmosphere, mystery, inexplicable occurrences, people having to fight for survival, seclusion, apocalyptic scenarios, unlikely heroes, strong characters etc. – a lot of these are also there in science-fiction movies, which is why these are the two genres I delve into the most. But, like I said, I’m disappointed most of the time (well, significantly less often with science-fiction movies, actually), so my favorite genre is probably comedy. I like most of the comedies I see, even those that aren’t funny most of the time, as long as they have some truly funny moments or interesting characters. My second-favorite genre is probably science-fiction, though. I like dramas and documentaries a lot as well… but I digress! I like all genres, really.

    Back to horror: I probably am not very similar to most horror movie aficionados, as I definitely don’t enjoy gory scenes (gore is actually a minus for me most of the time, especially when it’s unnecessary, which is, sadly, the case a lot of the time) and especially people being mean to each other in their desperate fight for survival. I hate that SO much and it’s so prevalent in today’s horror movies (see the TV series The Walking Dead, for example); where are the principled, tough, heroic characters of yore?!… You know, not EVERYBODY turns bad when their lives are in danger, but (most) modern horror filmmakers sure do love to make it look that way. I truly hate that. I don’t want to see movies about THOSE people! I want to see movies about the ones that don’t turn into animals, that keep their calm and their humanity and still do the right thing, that don’t value their own lives above all else. That’s my biggest problem with modern (and not only) horror movies.

    As for The Silence of the Lambs… Loren’s explanation as to why this movie (which I love) is important and meaningful, as opposed to the likes of Saw (same as Scott, I saw the first Saw movie and that was quite enough for me, as it’s really not my kind of horror film at all – see above), is pretty much perfect and that’s more or less what I would have said (had I been able to formulate it as well as that, which is doubtful), so there’s little need to add to that, I would say. I definitely agree with the points of Scott’s thought-out explanation above as well, although in my case I would revise the second point to say that I personally like not so much things that are horrific, as things that are out of the ordinary, unexpected and surprising… the thrill of the new, the unknown. I’m a sensationalist, in a sense. But the fact that they’re horrifying is definitely not a plus for me. It’s not a minus but it’s not a plus. And I do sometimes wish bad things happened to people I don’t like (I’m not proud of it) but never, and I mean NEVER, have I wished for anyone to die, no matter how much I disliked them. OK, maybe Lori in The Walking Dead, but just because her character didn’t feel real to me anyway. But, as long as a character feels real to me, no matter how evil they may be, I never want them to die. I want them to fail, maybe, or to become harmless in some way, but not die.