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Lector’s fear factor right choice

If you’re not trick-or-treating Wednesday night or hitting your friend’s big Halloween bash, you may want to check out Hannibal, the Halloween-Homecoming special Movie on the Lawn. While Hannibal may have been chosen for its horror value, it could also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Anthony Hopkins.

Although Hopkins has been acting in films since 1960, he really didn’t hit the American mainstream radar chart until he played the now-infamous sociopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Silence of the Lambs.

Since then, Hopkins has been keeping himself busy playing billionaires, dead presidents and even Zorro. And in the process, he provided some of the most memorable performances of the 1990s.

But Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector will forever be his crowning achievement. In Hannibal, he returns to the character that has been an indelible part of our pop culture ever since he wore the skin of another man as a mask and reminisced about complementing his meals with a glass of Chianti and a side of fava beans.

While he won a Best Actor Oscar for his character the first time around with only a half an hour of screen time, he relished the chance he was given in the sequel. So in a way, albeit a disturbing one, Hannibal seems the right choice for Wednesday’s Homecoming Movie on the Lawn.

In the film, Hannibal’s only surviving victim, played by a crispy Gary Oldman, sets out to exact his revenge by unleashing beasts on him that put The Princess Bride’s ROUS’s to shame. The only problem is finding him. It’s been ten years since FBI agent Clarice Starling, played by Julianne Moore replacing Jodie Foster, heard from the human-eating psychiatrist, and we discover he has been living a double life as an art historian in Italy. But things heat up when Clarice goes looking for him and Hannibal turns the cat and mouse game on her.

Hopkins again sinks his teeth into the role, although the sequel doesn’t have quite the same bite that its shocking predecessor possessed ten years ago. Moore, who usually nails her characters, doesn’t quite live up to Foster’s Starling even though she tries by imitating her southwestern drawl. This really is Hopkins’ show.

The hokey, schmaltzy Hollywood ending strays from Thomas Harris’ graphic novel, yet it somehow all fits together and actually ends with a light note on an otherwise bleak and even darker installment to the series.

But whatever the film lacks in substance or believability, it makes up in shock value and visual style, provided by director Ridley Scott (Gladiator).

The showing is scheduled for 9 p.m. and there will be a barbeque before hand. There will also be promotional giveaways, an inflatable Twister contest and tents set up for free psychic readings. Wednesday’s Movies on the Lawn presentation of Hannibal is co-sponsored by Campus Activities Board and is part of the Homecoming week festivities. The event will be held behind the Special Events Center.

  • Contact William Albritton at