Hannibal’s early episodes demonstrated an affinity for horror, realised in thick brushstrokes of sumptuous gothic tableaux and direct references to horror classics like The Shining. That horror focus has diminished, but not disappeared, as the season has continued, fleshing out both its characterisation and serialisation.
“Buffet Froid” serves as a return to elegant, unnerving horror; the opening scenes, with ghostly, damp footprints across the ceiling (and floor) leading to gruesome murder as every child’s nightmare became reality, could have been the centrepiece of a good supernatural horror movie. The show’s control of atmosphere was once again flawless, thanks in large part to a precise use of music – the way the soundtrack mirrored the cacophony of an MRI machine in later scenes was an excellent example.
The episode was spare and desolate, appropriate given its true focus was not the boogeyman under the bed but the spectre of mental illness, an undercurrent helped along by the sinister hand of Dr Lecter and culminating in a perfect scene between Will and the “boogeyman,” a damaged girl named Georgia. Overall, an interesting, well-made episode, though not as gripping as the last few.
In related (excellent) news – Hannibal was just renewed for Season Two!