Manhunter ★★★½

Fuck Red Dragon.

Ok, that's an exaggeration and I suppose I should provide a little more backstory here. I saw Red Dragon a few times before I ever saw this. It's interesting to see the remake of a film before the actual original. There is nothing particularly wrong with Red Dragon. The cast alone is worth a watch with Norton, Hopkins, Fiennes, and Hoffman stealing the show. That being said, after this viewing I can only wonder why the damn thing was ever made. Manhunter is not only superior but it also has a damn cool style to boot. Red Dragon on the other hand is a more by the numbers affair. I will elaborate below.

Manhunter is exactly what you'd want an 80's crime drama heavy on music synthesizers and dark blues and purples to be. This is in fact a dreamy excursion into 80's cinema, albeit on a more dark side. That is one aspect that kept ringing in my mind last night. It showcases the 80's in a way I hadn't quite seen it before. Not the cheesy and over-indulgence, but the dark and grimy side of the 80's was brought to the forefront here. Fascinating stuff.

The score here is used to amazing effect. There are a couple of scenes with the score in interplay with the Tooth Fairy that come to mind. Not your typical 80's tunes, but this is stuff that is innately more haunting in nature. I couldn't get enough of it. Exception cinema here.

My favorite scene of the film occurs when Will Graham is sitting in a diner. His family has just been moved to a protective house after Lecktor gave the Tooth Fairy his address. The rain is hitting the window. His silhouette is outlined amidst the rain. The drops are running down his face over the window. There are heavy synthesizers going. Will has says a line about how it's just him and the Tooth Fairy now and he's going to get him. Perfect representation of the greatness of this film. Steeped in 80's culture but showcasing the grimy and realistic side. Brilliant.

Simply put.........the film combines the dark story and subject matter with 80's culture to create of the more unique and flat-out cool crime dramas I've seen.

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