A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life. With some help and hindrance, Will races against the clock before the next full moon when the 'Tooth Fairy' will ... Written by
This movie is basically the prequel to "Silence of the Lambs". It received nowhere near as much attention, nor any Academy Awards, but nonetheless, as a purely scary movie, it is the better of the two. Hannibal Lecter isn't as memorable, nor as well acted, but he's more real, more frightening. Unlike in SOTL, he is a direct threat to the principal good guy, in that he nearly killed FBI agent Will Graham and drove him to near madness. Graham is the man responsible for capturing Lecter, but to do so, he had to get further inside Lecter's head than is safe for sane humans, and throughout the film we fear that he, in pursuit of a new serial killer, is in grave danger of losing his sanity in the process.
To add to the terror, Lecter is playing his mind games, while supposedly helping Graham, he is also secretly in cahoots with the killer, known only as the "tooth fairy". Aside from dealing with the physical and psychological dangers presented by Lecter, Graham must also try to reconstruct the mindset of the killer, and this provides the real drama of this film. He is a man on the edge, he's been through psychological hell thanks to Lecter and wants nothing more than to live in peace with his wife and son, but when his old boss Jack Crawford enlists his help, showing him photos of the murdered families, he cannot refuse. And throughout the entire film we are drawn into his struggle, the battle between his unique genius for seeing into the minds of psychotic serial killers versus his desire to maintain his sanity, protect his family, and simply lead a normal life. As such, Graham is a far more compelling character than was Jodie Foster's Agent Starling. Although this movie has its flaws (chiefly, a "Miami Vice" like reliance on its music soundtrack) it is a genuinely frightening psychological thriller that is definitely more scary than its more famous and critically acclaimed successor.
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