29 April 2017

RED DRAGON. (2002) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.



RED DRAGON. (2002) DIRECTED BY BRETT RATNER. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, ED NORTON, HARVEY KEITEL, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, RALPH FIENNES, MARY-LOUISE PARKER AND EMILY WATSON. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a superb horror film. There isn't a single bad thing to say about it. It's one fifth of the fantastic quintet of Hannibal Lecter films that also includes: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HANNIBAL and HANNIBAL RISING and MANHUNTER.

This film, though it was made after THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is actually the prequel to it. It first of all tells us how evil genius Hannibal Lecter came to the attention of the police in the first place and the gory circumstances of his apprehension and incarceration in that special cell for the criminally insane in which we are accustomed to seeing him. You know, with the mask on and everything so he can't (literally) bite the hand that feeds him, haha.

Then it tells us a different and equally thrilling story. The story, to be precise, of the deranged serial killer known to the police and the media as The Tooth Fairy. This is a killer who slaughters entire families in the most sickening ways. Who, if anyone, is capable of catching such a maniac...? The FBI are putting all of their eggs in one basket on this one, folks.

These eggs take the form of Special Agent Will Graham, the man who caught Hannibal Lecter. Now Graham adroitly picks Lecter's brains in an attempt to figure out the identity of The Tooth Fairy. The scenes of verbal thrust and parry in which the two engage with each other are terrific fun. Anthony Hopkins is just so good as Hannibal Lecter that you feel like you could watch him in the role for all eternity. Well, that's how I feel myself about his faultless and gripping performances, anyway.

Ralph Fiennes is also utterly electrifying as the messed-up photograph-and-home-movies development technician whose upbringing was so abusive you could almost forgive him for turning out so loopy. We see rather a lot of Ralph's naked butt in the movie. He's in great shape and one gets the impression that he likes to show off his body.

It's certainly not the first time we've seen his naked butt in a film. Remember THE END OF THE AFFAIR with Julianne Moore and Stephen Rea...? Phwoarrr...! (On another note, one can't help but wonder what Professor Dumbledore would have made of such flagrantly saucy shenanigans on the part of Voldemort, the Harry Potter villain...!)

Harvey Keitel as FBI Agent Jack Crawford is another actor whose naked butt we've also seen on the big screen, THE PIANO with Holly Hunter being a definite case in point. The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman does not show off his naked butt in this marvellously unsettling horror film, though he does appear partially-dressed in one scene, haha. He turns in a great performance as the loathsome investigative journalist Freddy Lounds who meets with a gruesome death at the hands of the killer.

There are so many memorable scenes in the film that it's hard to single out just one or two for special mention. I love when Ralph Fiennes is getting a blow-job from ANGELA'S ASHES lead actress Emily Watson while he's watching the home movies of the next family he plans to kill. Reba McClane is blind, you see, so she doesn't know what he's looking at. She actually thinks he's turned-on because of her...! It's just so twisted and somehow disturbed that it makes for unmissable viewing. 

Seriously, can you imagine geting a blow-job off ANGELA'S ASHES? She's an excellent actress and I honestly love her but she's got such a miserable face, God love her. If she was giving someone a blow-job, it's probably be with the same pained expression of someone performing a tiresome chore that she seems to wear in all her films, haha. I also love the tiger-petting scene for the powerful emotions which it unleashes in both Reba and Dolarhyde.

There's a nice little twist at the end which leads us neatly back into THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Watching all five Hannibal Lecter films back-to-back or, say, over the course of one
weekend would make for a great horror movie marathon or film festival theme. Feel free to use my idea. Don't worry, you won't be stealing it or anything. It's already totally patent-granted, I can assure you...!

RIP Jonathan Demme, who directed THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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