He agrees to take her on as a student, teaching her in the ritualistic ways of the serial killer, in exchange for a transfer to a prison cell with a view. But in a horrifying sequence, Lecter uses the deal to make his escape, and Starling is left alone to track down Buffalo Bill--and to panic at the thought of Lecter tracking her down.
This is ghoulish, deeply unpleasant stuff, handled with edgy style by an uncommonly grim Jonathan Demme. Foster is typically soft and stoic as the FBI agent in way over her head; Scott Glenn is his usual leathery self as her superior officer; and Hopkins is simply petrifying. One of the great actors of our time, it's no surprise that when this guy slips into the role of a devious, demented and unrepentant savage, it's almost too authentic to watch.
Demme's lingering looks at rotting, skinned bodies and other equally revolting images make this movie off-limits for the squeamish (and will no doubt add additional fuel to the censorship fires). But for those who will concede a fascination with crime at its most morbid, "Silence of the Lambs" will make an indelible impression. Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Scott Glenn. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Written by Ted Tally. Produced by Kenneth Utt, Ed Saxon and Ron Bozman. An Orion release. Thriller. Rated R for extreme gore and language. Running time: