Though most people think of Hannibal as purely evil, I think he reacts instinctively. This movie shows this side of Hannibal even more as he becomes the victim.
You'd think he's calmed down but when a police officer discovers his secret and tries to collect the reward for his capture, he reacts savagely. The violence scenes are really explicit, I don't think the censors even touched it.
As the story unravels, we understand that the relation between Clarice and Hannibal is not felt by both sides. Clarice tries blindly to bring Hannibal to justice, even when she's kicked off the FBI. I'm not complaining but it makes me wonder what Hannibal sees in Clarice who certainly doesn't stand out for her intelligence.
The script spoils us by explaining who Hannibal really is. Of course, the book would have been a better choice but my personal love for horror ends with movies, therefore I enjoyed being told the story with images and sounds.
The few special effects are excellent, the actors are first class. Hannibal terrorizes by his intelligence, his sense of concealment and his instincts.