— Is it true what they’re sayin’, he’s some kinda vampire?
— They don’t have a name for what he is.
An exceptional thriller, The Silence of the Lambs perfectly balances character study and dramatic sequences while incorporating nail-biting suspense with skin-crawling creepiness. Departing from nearly every cliché in the horror genre handbook whilst simultaneously forging its own unique style, the film probably should not have worked as well as it did: Demme made his mark directing comedies and had no experience directing horror; the film emphasised dialogue and drama over action and the female protagonist remained fully-clothed throughout (a rare occurrence in horror!). Even more exceptional at the time was the detailed forensic/procedural elements of police work that marked the beginning of a Hollywood obsession. — Michael McQueen