After winning the Best Picture Oscar for “The French Connection,” director William Friedkin decided to terrify audiences with “The Exorcist,” which won two Oscars and remains America’s ninth-highest grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation) as audiences literally fainted in the theater. It was the most shocked moviegoers had been since Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which was the first movie to generate buzz by locking the doors and not allowing late arrivals. Hitchcock also bought countless copies of the source novel to keep it off the shelves and held fake casting sessions for Mrs. Bates to preserve the film’s shocking twist. Which should advance to the championship?
Jonathan Demme’s gothic masterpiece “The Silence of the Lambs” joins “Rebecca” as the only horror-themed movies to ever win Best Picture and one of just three movies to ever win the Big Five Oscars: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. “Lambs” was way ahead of its time, with Clarice Starling’s feminist quest to be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry — a vegetarian trying to silence her symbolic screaming lambs by asking a cannibal to help her catch a skin-peeling serial-killer. It’s the greatest horror movie of the past three decades, rivaled only by “Get Out,” which deservedly won Jordan Peele the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Not only did it weave a brilliant social commentary with comedic interludes between the terror; it’s a prime example of screenwriting craft, with dialogue double meanings — “We hired Georgina and Walter to help care for my parents. When they died, I couldn’t bear to let them go” — and directorial symbolism including American-flag wardrobe and cotton-picking escapes. Which will advance to the championship?
WTOP's Jason Fraley highlights 'The Silence of the Lambs' vs. 'Get Out'
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