The second season of Bryan Fuller’s re-imagining of Thomas Harris’ characters from his books which have inspired 5 motion pictures including the horror thriller classic Silence Of The Lambs. I have been a life long devotee to the franchise that garnered Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster both Oscars. As a spooky kid, the original film had everything. It was terrifying, gory, cerebral, well acted and kinda gay. Going into this series last year I was ready to be offended. I’d really liked Ridley Scott’s take on Clarice and the Cannibal in Hannibal, and Red Dragon didn’t completely shit the bed thanks to Ralph Fiennes. Hannibal Rising on the other hand just left me asking why?
But after the first episode I was completely hooked. Hannibal takes the standard police procedural archetype of the odd/possibly touched/insane criminal investigator with some sort of magic insight (Medium, Criminal Minds, The Following, Twin Peaks etc) and turns it on his head. While the characters exist within the narrative of trying to find a killer with the help of highly empathetic FBI instructor Will Graham, the actual plot of the show revolves around the lengths to which Dr. Hannibal Lecter will go not only to kill and consume his victims, but also to avoid being caught.
The show is full of shots of intense gore which within the mise en scene of Fuller’s world becomes mixed beautifully with the shows otherwise high end aesthetic. Hannibal is seen butchering human lungs but between his manner of dress, the immaculate kitchen and stylish cinematography make it all appear like a commercial for high end knives then a tawdry exploitation film. Not to mention Fuller’s use of hallucinations and dream sequences to further explore surreal images such as the dark stag/wendigo monster pictured at the top of this post.
With Season 1 concluding with SPOILER: Will Graham arrested for the murder of Abigail Hobbs and the titular cannibal walking free the second season promises to leave us on the edge of our seats. And joining the cast which includes Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, along with Laurence Fisbourne, Gillian Anderson, Scott Thompson, Caroline Dhavernas and Hettienne Park will be Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon and Katherine Isabelle who will be playing Margot Verger (the lesbian sister of Mason Verger played by Gary Oldman in the film Hannibal). Check out the trailer for the new season below. Hannibal returns for it’s second season 10PM on Friday February 28th on NBC in the US and CityTV in Canada.