Silence of the Lambs
“Believe me, you don’t want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.”

Perhaps more of an “honorable mention” than a full-fledged Girls Underground example, The Silence of the Lambs (movie) still bears some discussion. This will be only the first of several horror movies profiled here – aside from fantasy, horror is the most common film genre in which to find the archetype, and is teeming with solid female protagonists battling evil (and often supernatural) male adversaries.

Clarice (an adult now, but orphaned at a young age, true to form) is on a mission to track down an elusive and gruesome serial killer. Aside from a friend at the FBI, her main “companion” in this venture is also in his way an adversary: Hannibal Lecter, another serial killer. He helps and guides her, trading for pieces of her, and he gives her many riddles to solve. He resides underground in a cell at the beginning, and when the final showdown with the real adversary (Buffalo Bill) happens, it also is underground, in a basement. While there is no distinct “otherworld” that Clarice goes to (unless you count the mad world inside a serial killer’s mind), she does have a lofty goal (rescuing a kidnapped girl), which is time-sensitive, as well as a terrifying adversary and strange companion.

While quite different in detail from most other Girls Underground examples, this does show how the archetype can manifest in other ways, even with adult protagonists living in the “real world.”

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