‘Scream’ Director Wes Craven Said This “Totally terrifying” Horror Icon Is His Favorite Movie Monster

Wes Craven
Wes Craven's cameo as seen in 'Scream'

Wes Craven has introduced us to a number of iconic characters: Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, and The Locals in The Hills Have Eyes to name a few. Forbes once asked the director to speak to his favorite movie monster. Being a consummate professional, Craven didn’t name one of his own creations. However, his pick is an iconic movie monster and his explanation regarding why he chose who he chose is articulate and on point.

Craven replied to the prompt by saying: “Hannibal Lecter. He (as played by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs) showed me the level of sophistication that can be brought to a horror film. With a character like Lecter, who is articulate and intelligent, you can achieve the satanic level of scare–someone with powers greater than you who can outrun you and is totally at ease with violence, is amused by terror and who actually enjoys the process of dismantling you. That’s the most primal demonstration of fear, isn’t it? Something that can completely destroy you to the extent that it actually takes your flesh into its body. That’s total ownership. Totally terrifying.”

Not surprisingly, Craven made a brilliant case as to why Hannibal is the distilled essence of evil and surely hangs with the best of his contemporaries. His understanding of what makes a movie scary and how to craft a chilling adversary are just two reasons why the director is so sorely missed by fans.

For anyone unfamiliar with the setup, the story goes like this: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

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