Horror or Not? #6 - Silence of the Lambs

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by spawningblue, Sep 23, 2006.

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Poll #6 Horror of Not? - Silence of the Lambs

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    36.6%
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
    63.4%
  1. allmessedup

    allmessedup It's beer time.

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    My rule of thumb regarding suspense vs. horror is that suspense is generally about the hunt for the killer, whereas horror is more narrowly focused on the killer and the murders taking place. The plot of a suspense film is more about solving a mystery. The "good" characters are more important in a suspense/crime movie, whereas in a horror film they usually aren't. I don't regard SILENCE OF THE LAMBS as really being horror since it doesn't really focus enough on Buffalo Bill, though it definitely veers into horror territory when it's dealing with Lecter. [HANNIBAL, btw, I would consider more of a horror film.]

    An example of a similar film that I think would definitely be more in the horror category would be THE NEW YORK RIPPER. The way the movie shows the various murders as they occur makes it a horror film [even though it does have a lot of mystery/thriller elements as well.]
     
  2. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Take a look at this poll, we rated the best horror films of the 90's. AOD and Silence of the Lambs rated very high. So yes there are plenty of horror fans who consider them to be horror.

    http://www.horrordvds.com/vb3forum/showthread.php?t=24055&highlight=90's

    As for The Wizard of Oz. I wouldn't really call it horror but it's interesting that it's including in my Horror hounds 999 horror movies book.

    Like I said before if you think it's horror then it's horror, why are we so worried about trying to label everything.
     
  3. lol You're the one fighting for the horror label for this crime drama...
     
  4. satans-sadists

    satans-sadists Ghost

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  5. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --Take a look at this poll, we rated the best horror films of the 90's. AOD and Silence of the Lambs rated very high. So yes there are plenty of horror fans who consider them to be horror.--

    And? Polls on here are hardly definitive statements on the facts, neither are lists :lol:

    This isn't a horror. I don't understand why people think it is.
     
  6. Criswell

    Criswell New Member

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    Personlly id say overrated
     
  7. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I'm not sure what your reading but I didn't say it was a fact. I'm just saying if so many "HORROR" fans would pick these films as the best "HORROR" films of the 90's. It may not be such a ridiculous notion.
     
  8. maskull

    maskull I finally got an avatar!!! Yay!!

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    Exactly.
     
  9. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    There are a few scenes that prove conclusively that this is a horror film. I'd say the very first is the moment where Dr. Chilton shows Clarice the photograph of the nurse that Lecter ate (partially). How many dramas seek to introduce a main character like this?

    Also, the moment where - of course - Lecter utters the famous "Chianti" line. He's not just looking at Clarice. He's doing this to scare the audience.

    I have more ideas here, but I admit this one below is in first-draft stage:

    Horror is all about experience. A drama shows you a situation unfolding with strict detail to a story. Dramas are clinical. They stand from a distance. Horror has to put you in the exact same moment. You have to feel the wheels turning, especially for the "monster" or "killer." You know what I mean. And you have to know how a potential victim feels in a moment of terror. If a person were being killed in a drama, they probably wouldn't enter a room so slowly and call out the name of their best friend 6-12 times and say things like: "the joke's over!" "Stop fooling around!" Etc.
     
  10. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I would categorize Silence as horror. You might get an argument from Jodie Foster who insists it NOT a horror film. The Academy however officially states that it's the first "horror" film to ever win best picture. It's really a combination of horror, suspense, crime drama, etc..and it's hard to pinpoint, but if you look at any reference material including the Overlook Encyclopedia of Horror by Phil Hardy, there it exists in black and white as horror. The Exorcist is arguably in the same category, and once again, the Academy lists that film as the first horror film ever nominated for best picture. I also categorize The Exorcist as horror. Regardless of what you think it is, it was no doubt the best horror or horror related film of that year.
     
  11. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I love Jodie Foster as an actress, but she's clearly a bit of a snob when it comes to movies.
     
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  12. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would agree. She is actually my all-time favorite actress. I've loved her ever since I was little.
     
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  13. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    For me, there is a primary question that I default to when trying to settle the horror-or-not debate: "When the film is over, would you want to be the main character?" In any example that I would site as definitive, no debate, horror films, the answer is always an easy "no". So while lots of films will have scary scenes, this has always been an easy way for me to draw a clear line. A lot of this idea has its roots in Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" which I think is one of the definitive pieces on why and how horror works. So, with that in mind, despite the use of horror imagery, I have to say that Silence is not a horror film as the central arc is really more of a "coming of age" drama with some leanings on the typical "Call of the Hero" pattern from Campbell. So, while it may have scary moments, the overall message is mainly one of an adventure.

    But, I think I've already gone on a number of rants about all of the reasons why I don't like this film in general, so that may also color my opinion.
     
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  14. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    There are quite a few horror films with "happy" endings.

    Sure, most of them are from the 90's. But- quite a good many before and since then.
     
  15. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. For me and The Exorcist, is it would be an immediate no. For Silence, not so much. Where might I find a copy of Lovecraft's essay? I've never read it. As for not liking Silence, I have to let you know that is bordering on treason. ;). All kidding aside, I absolutely love Jodie Foster and when I read Harris's book, I couldn't put the damn thing down. It's the only book in years that I actually re-read, but I suppose there is an argument to be made about whether the film did the book justice. Personally, IMO, I think it did.
     
  16. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

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    Horror.

    No argument why. It's just horror to me.
     
  17. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Seriously: look at Braindead / Dead Alive. The only way Lionel and Paquita are able to finally be together is after his mother dies. By the end, she's dead. Hooray! Who wouldn't want them to be together? (I mean, we already had Dan and Meg tragically torn apart by the end of Re-Animator. So, why should we just repeat that formula?)

    Tons more examples, but isn't that among the best? If Braindead / Dead Alive isn't horror, what is it?
     
  18. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't preclude "happy" endings as much as comment about what the character has to go through. Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre technically have happy endings but, the characters are damaged/traumatized and that is a bit important. The whole root of horror is the idea that the world is out to kill you and there is little you can do about it other than be afraid. If the horror is presented as something that can be overcome or vanquished and the hero ends up stronger for having gone through the gauntlet, that is an adventure in the most basic of Campbell-ian beats.
     
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  19. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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  20. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I figure if a guy wears another guy's face that he cut off is in the movie, it's horror. Not to mention heads in jars, ejaculate throwing, victims in pits with past victim's fingernails, bugs shoved in mouths.

    What's not horror?
     
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