"Manhunter (1986/Blu-ray/MGM)" Review

Synopsis: Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life...

 Review: 5 years before the incredibly successful "Silence of the Lambs" there was a film by the name of Manhunter that first showed the world the legendary Hannibal Lecktor. Of those 2 films though I personally go more for Manhunter and not because it came first but more for it's very chilling story and unnerving atmosphere. Also I think the acting is better as well. When it comes to that aspect of this film you get some great talents like that of William Petersen (CSI), Brian Cox (Braveheart) as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, Dennis Farina( Law & Order), and the quite talented Tom Noonan (Heat) as Francis Dollarhyde (aka Tooth Fairy). With a lineup like that and many others you have a very well acted film.
 One thing that I have grown to appreciate about films more now than I did when I was younger is the music involved in the film because when done right it becomes it's own entity in the film and helps drive the atmosphere and it helps to draw you into the film and make you apart of it. The music in Manhunter does just that and also it takes a classic epic rock song and makes it work with the film instead of just being thrown in there and being cheesy and unnecessary, the song I am talking about is Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and it's at the end of the film during it's climatic nail biter.
Now as far as the presentation of this film goes MGM did a pretty good job with Manhunter which is in it's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and also still has all the grain intact. For the most part the grain is heavy, but for this film it doesn't bother me one bit. Also you get a English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio which for the most part clear but could be a little better, on the other hand they could of better balanced the sound and made it a little less front speaker heavy in sound. Other than that not bad. Now the only thing that I can say I wish they would of done with this release is I wish they would of added the director's cut also which is 4 minutes longer, but that's not a gripe just something that would of been cool.
 If you have not seen this film yet but you have seen Silence of the Lambs all I can say is that you are missing out because this one is truly worth giving a try! Overall this film was a very well crafted adaptation as well as one of the most underrated suspense films to come out of the 80's!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Michael Mann

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1986
Time Length: 120 mins.
Company: MGM Home Entertainment
Website: www.mgm.com