Have You Heard About... Hannibal

… the TV show that critics are calling “deliciously disturbing?”

I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to horror franchise reboots, and until last year, I had yet to see a reboot that did the original series justice. And then I discovered the TV show, Hannibal.

The show is loosely based on characters and events mentioned in Red Dragon, the first published novel in the Hannibal Lecter series, and takes place before Hannibal’s incarceration. Will Graham, a teacher at the FBI Academy, is called in by the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, Jack Crawford, to help profile a serial killer. Will has the ability to understand and empathize with killers, which takes an extreme psychological toll but also allows him to catch ruthless criminals. Hannibal Lecter, at the request of Jack Crawford, is called in to evaluate Will’s mental state on a continuous basis while assisting with the investigations. But there is evidence of another serial killer as well…a brilliant and ruthless psychopath who keeps (and eats) surgical trophies from his victims.

Obviously, we know Hannibal Lecter is the other serial killer at large, and the series plays on this existing knowledge brilliantly. The dialogue is full of gruesome double entendres, dark irony, and subtle nods to the original Hannibal Lecter films, and the graphic imagery is tempered with elegant sophistication. Actor Mads Mikkelsen plays the role of Hannibal Lecter with subtle intensity, creating a character that is intelligent, charismatic, and absolutely bone-chilling. In fact, I will even go on record as saying he equals (if not surpasses) Anthony Hopkins’ performances in the classic films. I know. I can’t believe I said it either.

Hannibal is without a doubt one of the darkest and most disturbing shows on TV, but it manages to elevate an established horror series to an honest-to-God art form. If you’re a horror fan, this is a must see.

 

Reviewed by Katie (staff)