How To Terrify The Audience
How To Terrify The Audience

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In this video essay on silence of the lambs I address how you can terrify your audience... Support me on Patreon: Please Like and Subscribe for more video essays. A massive thank you to my patrons for supporting me create these video essays: Sam reilly James Roye Chantien Chiu Øyvind Bø Kaasa John Ryan Andersen Daniel Sturman Robby May-Sylianteng Evan Block Gabriel Hug Ádám Bergmann Hannah Southerland Hugo Rocha Loures Kosop Joseph Henderson Nikki DeKeuster Chris Tim Novak Jennifer Risley solvalent DINH PHUONG LINH Debbie Dearest Ringoster Justus Berberich Debra Stanley Notker Kirchgäßner John Sipes Thad Snell Steve Barrow PJ Crabb Ryan Tam Bernardo Rodríguez


The Halo Scrolls Gaming : Hollywood back then: Who needs jumpscares when we can have terrifying Villains and good writing? Hollywood now: “who needs good writing and terrifying villains when we can have jumpscares?

WillRock07 : Something that the video doesn't mention is that while yes, when you first see hannibal lecter standing there in his cell, he's not showing any signs of insanity, to me he is terrifying anyway because he seems so... artificial. Yes he's not showing any signs of insanity but he's not normal because a normal person would just looking bored, lying on the bed, maybe reading...? However, he's just standing in the middle of his cell, unmoving, with a perfect posture. Its almost like he's TRYING to appear normal but just comes off creepy because its not actually normal in the slightest. However, he's a psychologist so it has to be intentional. The best way I can describe it is that it is like he knew she was coming and decided to do the creepiest thing he could think of, which was in fact, nothing, like an absence of any sort of traits so she couldn't read him. And that is terrifying because you have NO idea what to expect.

Justin Knapich : I always loved that look Lecter gives after Clarice said "no, you ate them." the look of... oh, yeah...

David Røskeland : He's just standing there... MENACINGLY

Sepia Smith : i definitely agree that using helpless protagonists makes it very terrifying, but in some ways I find the opposite to be true: what's more horrifying than seeing someone do everything right, everything you thought would work and keep them safe, only for it to fail in the end. they're helpless in that sense, and you'll feel the same way too. 👀👀

Prot07ype : Watched this film for the first time yesterday, at my local cinema. How did I even miss this gem?

Jack Berczi : Let's not act like the writer or director made this character, without Anthony Hopkins we wouldn't be making this video.

Original American : You call him a terrifying villain. I call him my next door neighbor. He is a very nice man. I just don't eat anything he cooks.

James Burgess : "Jump scares... lots and lots of jump scares." *All of Hollywood:* "Ok, sure!"

Bijinius Cross : Oh, I feel the scariest thing of _ALL_ is that "impenetrable" plastic you talk about. For me, after the straight-up _medieval_ iron bars containing the other hopelessly insane criminals, there seems to be _nothing at all_ between Hannibal and Clarice (i.e. _us—the audience.)_ There isn't a lot of light reflecting on the material—I wouldn't be surprised if there was nothing at all really there while filming it.

Eki the Alchemist : "The reason Hannibal is such a terrifying villain is because he has all the power" (Emperor Palpatine) wants: To know your location

Mysteri0usChannel : There's a huge difference between horror and terror.

Psiberzerker : The intimacy of the eye contact is unnerving. The ultra-closeups, and how both actors portray it. Jodie foster doesn't get enough credit for her acting in this scene. It's terrifying, you can feel it, but because she's standing across from Anthony Hopkin's Hannibal Lechter, it's overshadowed. More sublimation here, he steals the scene, but as you pointed out "Closer..." is asserting dominance, it also tightens the vignette. Focusing on the eye contact, the intimacy, and claustrophobia of the situation. Ironically, she's trapped, while he's standing calmly in his cell. He's comfortable, well lit, with decorated walls, while all she's got is a folding chair in a dim cramped corridor...

Kyurem Bael : I ate his liver with some fava beans and nice chianti... *LICKLICKLICKLICKLICK*

Roderick Zijlstra : Hannibal Lecter by Anthony Hopkins is one of the best characters in a movie of all time.

Salea Gilner : I feel that when a villain doesn't have a true motive that makes them scarier. I mean if the villain had a tragic back story you end up wanting them to kill everyone.

Putri Wahyuni : In summary: Pay attention to details

Daniel Cannata : He is so insane, he is sane in his own right.

Marik 444 : The most terrifying thing about this is the loss of the iconic line "Hello, Clarice" from the scene.

Michaela : “The reason why Hannibal Lecter is so terrifying is that he has all the of the power.” *'Literally every historical ruler' wants to know your location*

WarlockofWords Channel : Bram Stoker also used this in Dracula, building mystique around the count from his effect on Renfield before we meet him.

Luca DeAdam : While I don't fully disagree with your statement "if you want your audience to feel terrified, it has all to do with which character has the power" I think it only tells half of the story. It may sound like nitpicking but I'd say it's just as important, if not more important, to emphasize where the LACK of power is if you really want to terrify your audience. I hadn't ever really thought much about the idea of terror until you made that statement, but once I heard it I realized that terror is feeling an overwhelming sense of powerlessness in the face of a malicious presence. If you want your audience to feel terror then you want your audience to be focused on the terrorized's powerlessness more-so than you want them to be focused on the terrorizer's power. Either way though, I think this was a great video and it really got me thinking, keep up the great work!

Darry Garry : Why am I watching this when I need to go to sleep?!

Kayde Kai : Hannibal is a decent man that just happens to eat people. And, on the grand scheme of things, Dr. Lecter really isn't that horrible when compared to real life serial killers.

RAP'N TUDO FAMÍLIA 321 : "He is not just bad, he is nos just insane, he is an absolute MAD LAD"

Stop the Philosophical Zombies : I waited on Anthony Hopkins in Park City, Utah at a ski resort where I was working back in 2007. What a genius actor. I was starstruck but kept it to myself. I couldn't think of anything to say that he hadn't heard a thousand times, so I just was as normal as I could muster.

grkpektis : I think the scariest villain I've ever seen is Killgrave from Jessica Jones. We spend the whole first episode seeing how much of a complete badass Jessica is, but when we see how terrified she is of Killgrave it builds up so much tension we are immediately terrified of him. He is not set up as a supervillain he is a horror villain

Gilliganfrog : This analysis is interesting but flawed in a couple of ways: one factual, and the other analytical. A) An important factual error: Clarice Starling did not meet Hannibal Lecter to ask for his help on solving a case. She was told to try to get Lecter to complete a psychological questionaire, while unwittingly being used as bait to trick Lecter into helping on an important and difficult case. Jack Crawford even explicitly tells Starling (later) that if he had informed her beforehand that this was the real task, Lecter would've quickly detected this and refused to help. This is important because it means Starling was not sent to Lecter to knowingly deceive or trick him, but to simply give him a questionaire and otherwise be her natural self: an intelligent, competent, kind, respectful, honest, frank, petite, physically beautiful, down-to-earth, courageous, vulnerable, and yet tough young woman bravely entering a dangerous profession dominated by men. Crawford guessed correctly that Lecter would be fascinated by Starling. Luck, in the ugly form of "Multiple Miggs", created the circumstances under which Lecter would decide that he wanted to help Starling's FBI career; Lecter then chose to "help" by having Starling reveal the details of her most personal, most formative life experiences in exchange for clues about Buffalo Bill's identity. B) An important analytical error: in the tense dynamic between Starling and Lecter, and in the endeavor of identifying what makes Hannibal Lecter such a frightening character, you omit his central qualities. Yes, he knows how to leverage his cooperation to give himself as much power or control of a situation as possible; and yes, he has a well-earned reputation as a brutally violent psychopath. However, any villain's ability to leverage control can vary from context to context, and every inmate in that basement dungeon is probably a violent psychopath. Hannibal Lecter's characteristics (made convincing solely by Anthony Hopkins's unbelievably subtle, thorough, nuanced, controlled acting): 1) >>> He is usually calm, usually speaks softly, usually moves minimally or keeps himself very still, is intensely observant, is intensely perceptive, and is intensely inscrutable <<< 2) >>> Unusually high cognitive skills <<< His knowledge is incredibly broad and deep; his understanding of human nature is profound; his deductive reasoning skills are so high as to seem supernatural; he is resourceful to the extreme, in a way that demonstrates remarkable creativity & imagination; and his intelligence is clearly at genius-level: most of the time he is mentally many, many steps ahead of anyone he comes into contact with. (This is why he was particularly impressed with Starling's ability to "sell" him the phony deal involving moments of freedom on an island, a deal that was seemingly flawed and thus made more authentic by the fact that Starling allowed him to learn for himself that the island is reserved for animal disease research.) 3) >>> Unusually acute sensory & physiological abilities <<< This man detects and identifies the faintest levels of scent, whether from the perfume in a skin care product or the blood of someone's hidden cut on their leg; he draws detailed sketches of actual architectural landscapes and people solely from memory; he notices every detail of a person's physical appearance, dress, smell, speech patterns, and accents such that he can rapidly create an accurate biography of the person within minutes of meeting them; he notices the slightest changes in the details of his environment such that he will capitalize on any slightest mistake made by his handlers; and he can control his own heart rate and other vital signs such that medical staff will be convinced that he is near death, or having a grand mal seizure, etc. 4) >>> Unusual ability to be harmless, charming, civilized, and all the exact opposites of these traits, depending solely on his needs <<< By outward appearances Lecter is of average size, average build, slightly older than middle-aged, extremely educated, extremely cultured, extremely courteous, extremely patient, an extremely attentive listener, and is quietly unassuming. He doesn't seem to be a practitioner of any martial art, nor does he seem remotely interested in weaponry or hand-to-hand combat. He would seem to be a delightful dinner guest, as well as an ideal target for a mugger who doesn't want a struggle. However, his reflexes are quick, his timing is superb, his movements are efficient, he is capable of the most extreme levels of sadism & violence imaginable, and he can reveal all of this within a split second. If you like Napoleon Dynamite, then you can also throw in computer hacking skills, bo staff skills, "numb-chuck" skills, all the skills that get girls. Therefore it isn't his "control" or his violent "pure psychopathy" that make Lecter so frightening; it is that he is an unpredictable, inhumanly capable, harmless-looking, one-man ambush whose passions & interests include murdering and eating people. Interacting with him is the equivalent of being scanned by multiple microscopes, while being analyzed by multiple supercomputers, while being sniffed by a curious & very hungry tiger. He's been called "an evil Sherlock Holmes", a description that was also applied to Holmes's arch-nemesis James Moriarty. I say no, Hannibal Lecter would literally eat Holmes and Moriarty for breakfast. This is why his 15 minutes of screen time in "The Silence of the Lambs" were sufficient to make him the widely-considered "most frightening villain in all of film".

cherophilia : _How To Terrify The Audience_ *Step 1:* Point a gun on them.

Ethan Lommerse : Y'all remember that iCarly episode based on silence of the lamb

Quality _ : 3:01 thats the scary part we dont know who are the insane ones walking among us...

Ljb04 : so I have this English exam coming up..

NEO : You're a good narrator and you have good sophistication in your speech.

Krisu 22 : 2:05 Do you know, the definition of insanity?

Moses Zewdie : Well put. Analysis is accurate.

Brandon Spain : This video helps me try to make a legit good horror movie I'm working on. Working title is "Ashes to Ashes"

ArcaneAzmadi : You neglected to mention what is to me THE most terrifying aspect of that first shot of Hannibal standing in the middle of his cell: the camera is showing Clarice's first-person perspective and as Hannibal comes into view he's already staring _right into it._ But he obviously doesn't just spend all day standing still in the middle of his cell. He knew she was coming. He was _waiting for her._

Teagan Wright : Anthony Hopkins killed this villain character! 😘

BitterVoid : I love the bang at 6:53 when Hannibal closes his eyes. Like a moment of being brought back. I wish he’d also discussed this in the video.

Ninjxxitty : can you do hannibal rising as well please?

Bon Jobey : “You are what you eat” said the blue fairy, unknowingly. Pinnochio turned sly eyes upon the elementary school.

Rotten Redhead : You know it's an old video when the Youtuber says he makes more money off YouTube than his work.

Steampunk : man, jodie foster looked stunning on that movie

Gianni Davis : To terrify the audience all u need is sonic movie trailer

You’ve yeed your last haw : How to jump scare the audience: Put me on stage and get them to look directly at my face,now that’s a real jump scare.

Gerardo Ochoa-Vargas : How to terrify your audience: to, without warning, cut off the main topic and start rambling about minutes of audience retention and subscribers

sDanOs : Hey we would love to have a terrifying man in a mental asylum who is always jumpscaring us we want dark visuals and creepy people Hollywood: *yes*

Oliver Queen : Hannibal Lector is one of the Greatest Villians of all Time. Just to let you Silence of The Lambs is not the only hannibal film. The order of them are 1. Manhunter 2. Silence 3. Hannibal 4. Hannibal Rising 5. Hannibal TV show s1, 2, and 3

thosedumbguys : Your incredibly consistent for having a job aside from YouTube. I subscribed the first video I saw from you im sure most people do the same. Keep up the great work