Hannibal Lecter Trilogy – Blu-ray Review

Hannibal Lecter is the main antagonist in the novel and film franchise that operates under the same name.  Starting with Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in 1981, Lecter is a forensic psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer.  The sequel to this novel and film feature Lecter as one of the primary antagonists after the two serial killers in both stories; and in the third Hannibal, Lecter becomes a protagonist.   His role as the antihero eventually comes to light in the fourth film and novel, Hannibal Rising, which dives deep into his childhood and his overall development into becoming a serial killer.  Unfortunately the fourth film is not included in this box set and must be purchased separately; and is available in a Region-Free Blu-ray that can be imported into the US.

The first film of this series was adapted from the Harris novels was Manhunter (which was based on Red Dragon) and features Brian Cox as Lecter.  In 1991, Anthony Hopkins won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the character in The Silence Of the Lambs.  He would eventually reprise his role in Hannibal in 2001 and in a second adaptation of Red Dragon made in 2002 that operates under the original title.

In 2003, Hannibal Lecter (as played by Hopkins) was chosen by the American Film Institute as the number-one movie villain of all time; and in 2010, Entertainment Weekly named him as one of the “100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years”.

The Films (3.5/5):

Having never seen any of the films that come within The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy box set that’s available in Region-Free Blu-ray from the UK before, I was genuinely curious and surprised as to how well I enjoyed them.  However while I liked what I saw, I found some of them quite a bit difficult to follow at times and will definitely need to revisit this series.  Hopkins’ role as Lecter felt as if it was perfectly fit for him and well executed as he did a phenomenal job at portraying the creepy, yet serious character.

After doing more research into the series and learning that Manhunter is a part of this series, I know that I’m going to have to venture out and add this to my collection as well as import the fourth film, Hannibal Rising as well so I can properly flow through the series of events again so I can feel a little more in-tune with the experience that these films offered and maybe gain more of an appreciation for them.

Picture Quality (5/5):

The visual presentation that The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy is extremely solid.  Bearing a stunning 1080p presence, these films were not only crisp, but maintained the dark and creepy undertone that accompanies the story of Lecter.  Despite having several darker scenes, I was able to completely make out every scene as it unfolded without having to squint or adjust my position in front of the living room television.

Audio Quality (5/5):

The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy box set is the first of my UK imports that managed to keep the same audio standard across all of the included discs.  Packing a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, the movies contained within this package were beautiful.  Being able to hear and understand everything and not overpower our living room, the company who made this set did an absolutely fantastic job with its audio profile.

The Packaging (4.5/5):

Just like every other UK box set that I’ve imported, The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy comes with three films that are packaged within their own individual UK amaray case.  The UK amaray case being much thicker and allows for, what I feel to be, a much more cleaner look.  Contained within each case is a single Blu-ray disc of each film.  There is no DVD nor is there any digital copy redemption pamphlet.  Each of those cases are contained within a thicker cardboard slipcover to allow for a more unified and boastful presence on the shelf.

I did however deduct half of a point from this score because the plastic on the Blu-ray cases felt a little bit lighter and found them to be a little problematic when snapping them shut.  With being a lighter grade of plastic, at least with my copy, you have to look at the case as you close it versus blindly doing it out of habit like I normally do with most Blu-rays in my collection.

Special Features (5/5):

The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy comes packed full of additional content.  While Red Dragon has the most bonus content, I wish that Hannibal would’ve had more than what was actually offered.  The special features that are included with this release is

Red Dragon

  • Additional Scenes
  • The Making Of Red Dragon
  • A Director’s Journey With Ridley Scott
  • Visual Effects Journal
  • Screen And Film Tests
  • Anthony Hopkins: Lecter And Me
  • Makeup Application
  • The Burning Wheelchair
  • The Leeds’ House Crime Scene
  • Storyboards To Final Feature Comparison
  • Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer Hosted By John Douglas
  • Lecter’s FBI File And Life History
  • Brett Ratner’s Student Film
  • Feature Film Audio Commentary With Director Brett Ratner and Writer Ted Tally
  • Musical Score Audio Commentary With Composer Danny Elfman

The Silence Of The Lambs

  • Documentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes Reel
  • Anthony Hopkins Phone Message
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer


  • Feature Film Audio Commentary With Director Ridley Scott
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary By Director Ridley Scott
  • Alternate Ending With Optional Audio Commentary By Director Ridley Scott

Technical Specs:


Codec: MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, VC-1

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, 1.85:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, 2.39:1


Red Dragon

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French: DTS 5.1

German: DTS 5.1

Italian: DTS 5.1

Japanese: DTS 5.1

Spanish: DTS 5.1

Music: Dolby Digital 2.0

The Silence Of the Lambs

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)

Thai: Dolby Digital 2.0


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French: DTS 5.1

Spanish: DTS 5.1


Red Dragon

English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Swedish

The Silence Of The Lambs

English SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Thai


English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Swedish


Red Dragon: 124 minutes

The Silence Of The Lambs: 118 minutes

Hannibal: 131 minutes

TOTAL: 373 minutes

Final Thoughts:

The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy was one of my recent pre-Black Friday sale acquisitions from Amazon UK and was purchased to upgrade my DVD counterparts that I had never sat down to watch to Blu-ray; and I am beyond words glad that I did.  While I found myself often distracted with life as I tried to watch them, I was able to watch the majority of these films to pass enough judgement to write this review.  I do know that I will be making an effort to add to the story by picking up Manhunter and Hannibal Rising so this box set can be revisited.  The provided audio and visual presentation that this box set offers was absolutely perfect as it worked in conjunction with its stories.

The packaging of this release is solid despite the Blu-ray cases feeling as if they were produced with a cheaper grade of plastic.  I know a few amount of people on the /r/dvdcollection subreddit are annoyed with the UK rating symbols that take up more space than they need to, but I find them easy to ignore.  Each film comes with some additional content that is related to their respective title.  Some discs having significantly more content than the other, but that definitely didn’t deter me from enjoying this set.  If you’re interested in grabbing this collection, the set from Amazon UK is in fact Region Free.