Quentin Tarantino: The Best Scene in ‘Hollywood’ Has More ‘Terror’ Than ‘Silence of the Lambs’ Endin



On the “Empire” magazine podcast, Quentin Tarantino talked about the Spahn Ranch scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

He claims it has more “terror” than the climax to The Silence of the Lambs, which focused on Clarice Sterling’s night-vision showdown with serial killer Buffalo Bill.

Tarantino said:

”There’s a difference between suspense and terror,” Tarantino said. “Suspense is what’s going to happen. Terror is [when] you’re afraid you know exactly what’s going to happen and you don’t want to see it. You think the worst.”

Tarantino continues:

“I did not think Jodie Foster was going to die,” “
At that point in the movie, I would have been surprised if it ended with Buffalo Bill killing Jodie Foster. I’ve seen too many movies to think that that was going to happen. I got caught up in the moment, but I still had a movie brain going on.”

He says what makes the Spahn Ranch scene terrifying is not knowing, that the viewer is less certain of what’s going to happen.

He explained:

“One of the reasons the [Spahn ranch] scene works so effectively is Cliff could die. Narratively, movie wise, in every way shape and form, not only could he die in that sequence, dramatically it might even make sense that he dies.”
“When you watch the movie with an audience [for] the first time, it achieves something that I think is very difficult to achieve in a movie,” Tarantino continued. “It achieves terror; the audience is terrified for Cliff. The air in the theater changes. Everyone becomes riveted and they’re genuinely afraid.”

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