The latest adaptation of Hannibal is undoubtedly one of the most gruesome shows on television. Bryan Fuller manages to successfully marry stylistically beautiful sequences with brutally macabre murder scenes, and it somehow rivals the body count and blood volume of a slasher flick, but within the confines of network television.
Each episode presents a new and truly disgusting crime scene, then enables the viewer to actually witness the carnage by using Will Graham’s unique ability to recreate the killer’s actions. It’s jarring, it’s emphatic and it’s irresistibly watchable.
The killers in the Hannibal universe are not only oddly creative with their methods, they also make sure that they never miss an opportunity to demonstrate all of the various ways that the human body can bleed. Hannibal bathes the audience in blood and entrails on a weekly basis, while constantly walking a fine line between being viscerally disgusting and psychologically unbalancing.
Of course, Hannibal wouldn’t be complete without serving up some tasty, human-filled treats cunningly disguised to look delectable. And that feeling of conflict you feel when you see it is exactly what draws you back to the show.
That balance – of beauty and entertainment and the grotesque – is precisely why Hannibal is great. But sometimes, it does push the boundaries a little far…