Disgustipated’s review published on Letterboxd:
You've seen Silence of the Lambs, right? This is the movie that came before that. The one Michael Mann did. Mannhunter. Not the not-so-good remake called Red Dragon, either.
Will Graham is the detective who caught Lecter. But now there is a new serial killer in town called The Tooth Fairy Killer. He goes about murdering entire families in the sanctity of their own homes, kids and pets included. What an asshole. With a little help from his friend Lecter, Will is on the hunt before another family gets slaughtered.
-- The music was awesome. It grabbed me by the ears and screamed, "This is the 80s, dude!". I almost expected a saxophone to start warbling on cue during one or two particular scenes. It never did much to my chagrin. This is a rather chaste, sax-free movie.
-- Then I noticed how awesome Manhunter looks. Michael Mann is the man when it comes to cinematography. The Miami orange, pinks and purples hanging over the ocean horizon like a beach themed monthly calendar photo was amazing. And there was a love making scene that was literally a blue movie.
-- Detective Will Graham does the whole serial killer whisperer thing with delirious intensity, bordering on the ridiculous, as he mutters to himself, bursting out in fits of anger, as he tries to get inside the head of the killer. It's that whole, "there is not much difference between you and I", thing going on between cops and criminals as he tries to empathise with them to predict their behaviour.
-- The serial killer is definitely the creepiest murderer to have ever worn a stocking on his head. It is weird that he would only wear it down to his nose and then leave his most distinguishing feature, an ugly scarred lip, completely exposed. What a moron.
-- When he takes the blind girl to feel up an anesthetized tiger as a prelude to seducing her it is totally bizarre, especially when he starts feeling her up in exactly the same way later that night. It is so fucking creepy. Having said that, watching the blind girl run her hands through the noble beasts fur with delight and awe was actually kind of cool at the same time. I want a pet tiger now.
-- A central and brilliant motif for this film is the victim's home movies that we see both Graham and The Tooth Fairy watch throughout the film. Watching these innocents go about their every day, knowing their horrendous fate, drives Graham to hunt down the fucker who killed them. On the other hand, their murderer looks like he is about to jizz his pants when he watches them. No matter how much Graham might be able to get into the heads of Lecter and The Tooth Fairy, this is ultimately what makes them fundamentally different.
-- This movie also has some serious forensics porn along with your psych profiling. I am not sure you have films like this so much anymore. With your CSIs, Criminal Minds and Dexters on TV, maybe these kinds of detective thrillers have been made a little redundant. I don't know, perhaps they are a dime a dozen and I just can't think of them right now. Seven is the last great procedural type film I can think of (Zodiac seems to transcend the sub-genre somehow).
-- That ending. Wow!
Verdict: Fuck, yeh!