I saw the posters for this movie and it seemed kind of interesting. I’d seen Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, and since this movie was also a Thomas Harris story, I thought it might be an interesting prequel. And it was.
The Wikipedia page has a really good synopsis of the story, with spoilers, told in the novel. The movie is slightly different, but follows the storyline fairly closely. Even though it was written by Harris, there are some inconsistencies from some of the details provided in Hannibal and/or Red Dragon (I can’t quite remember). I seem to recall Dr. Lecter making some comment either to the Italian cop, Pazzi, or to Will Graham about his utter contempt for his victims. Basically, that they deserved to die, usually for their stupidity or lack of talent, and in a highly undignified way. In the movie, it’s definitely all about revenge. And a fitting revenge to honour the victim (either Lecter’s sister or his aunt).
Super good movie overall. Not as creepy as Silence of the Lambs or Red Dragon. 7 out of 10 saltines.