Hannibal Rising Movie Poster Image

Hannibal Rising

Bloody prequel traces serial killer's origins.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Trauma during WWII produces Hannibal the Cannibal; his fierce Trauma during WWII produces Hannibal the Cannibal; his fierce fixation on vengeance leads to serial murder and decapitation; though he understands he is "wrong," he persists.


Brutal violence and bloody results. Wartime explosions, shooting, fires. Children witness their mother's fatal injury in an explosion, and their father is shot dead in front of them. An SS officer is shot in the head; wolves eat dead parents; Grutas eats a bird, showing his bloody mouth; Grutas threatens children with hatchet; villains eat little sister (off-screen, but fragmented memory repeats throughout, with screams and disturbing images); stabbings with forks, knives, swords; martial arts with poles; bloody wound stitched in close-up; several decapitations; repeated references to losing families in war; villain is squeezed to death by rope (blood splats on Hannibal's face, and he tastes it); Hannibal drowns a man; Grutas shoots Hannibal and another character; fight includes burning hand on stovetop; head is stabbed from chin through the top (seen from back); man squished between boat and dock (end is off-screen); Hannibal stabs villain's legs repeatedly, carves "M" in his chest, then eats his cheeks.


Sexual attraction between Hannibal and his aunt by marriage (brief, passionate kiss between them); verbal references to Lady Murasaki's "p--y" Grutas keeps a sex slave and forces her to bathe him in a tub; he appears out of the tub with a towel around his waist; Grutas licks Lady Murasaki's face, then puts his finger near her crotch and straddles her on a chair (very ugly threat of rape).


"F--k," "hell," "bitch," and sexual slang ("p--y," "d--k"). Disparagement of a Jew.


Hennessey Cognac sign.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes frequently; villains (including Hannibal) drink liquor and wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this bloody Silence of the Lambs prequel isn't for kids. Since it's about the "birth" of famously evil character Hannibal the Cannibal, it's no surprise that it's all about brutality (usually involving swords and knives) and cannibalism. Other violent scenes include wartime shootings and explosions, stabbings, decapitations (heads are prominently displayed and bloody), and a drowning (a man is locked in a hospital corpse tank). Villains also drink, smoke cigarettes, and abuse women (bruises on one victim). A few uses of "f--k," plus rude sexual slang.

What's the story?

HANNIBAL RISING traces the beginnings of serial killer Hannibal Lecter. As child in 1944 Lithuania, Hannibal sees his parents die during a fight between Russian tanks and German planes. Little Hannibal and his younger sister Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska) are beset by starving German deserters, who end up eating Mischa. The memory wreaks havoc with Hannibal's psyche and eventually leads him to seek vengeance against these men, who were deemed war criminals. After escaping a Soviet orphanage, Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) finds his aunt by marriage, Japanese wartime survivor Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) in France. Murasaki instructs Hannibal in martial arts. When he kills a butcher to defend her honor, Murasaki worries a little but helps him hide the crime from Inspector Popil (Dominic West). Determined to avenge his sister's grisly end, Hannibal pursues the men who ate her.

Is it any good?


The deaths are grotesque and the blood splatty, but Hannibal the movie doesn't demonstrate the cultural sophistication that Hannibal the character will later develop. (If Silence of the Lambs is any indication, that is.) Here, he's a bitter, anxious boy-man, a medical student who prepares cadavers for other students' autopsies -- discovering as he does so not only his pleasure in such activities, but also his gift. He is a grandly self-absorbed killer. When at last Murasaki begs him to stop, he cannot. His reason always: "They ate my sister." It's a terrible refrain and leads to a revolting psychosis. You can't help but miss Anthony Hopkins, whose sly wit alleviated at least some of Hannibal's thudding brutality.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the effects of trauma on children. How is the monster that Hannibal becomes produced by seeing his sister eaten? How is Hannibal sympathetic as a child? Why can't he satiate his desire for bloody vengeance? How does this movie explain or otherwise reshape the Hannibal the Cannibal story as you know it so far? Is Hannibal as effective a character when he's not being played by Anthony Hopkins? Would you consider this a horror film or a thriller? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 9, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:May 29, 2007
Cast:Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys Ifans
Director:Peter Webber
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong grisly violent content and some language/sexual references.

This review of Hannibal Rising was written by

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Teen, 14 years old Written byantoineisthebest May 17, 2011

Good movie but Hannibal childhood is violent

@finder u know x rating is porn The rating are g everyone pg parental guidance Pg-13 not recommend for anyone under 13 R people less 17 must be acompagnied by an adult Nc-17 not for anyone under 17 X not for anyone under 21 (all movie that are x are porno)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byHannahRC September 24, 2009
MOVIE REVIEW Hannibal Rising is a thrilling, terrifying tale, and not for the faint of heart. Revenge and murder are intertwined throughout the Hannibal’s fate. He finds little comfort as he grows up. He learns how to sate his anger and does just that through killing. He kills those who caused him pain in the beginning. The movie makes cannibalism and torturous actions performed by the main character, seem almost appropriate to achieve justice. I LOVE IT!!!!!
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008