Written by: Greg McCabe
Directed by: David Fincher
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
This cinematic experience is equal parts entertaining and disturbing, and in my opinion, just about as good as horror gets. Dark and unforgiving, I’ve seen this movie at least seven times and I’m still shocked at how brilliantly it was made.
The plot seems relatively simple. Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a caring but jaded homicide detective who’s a week away from retiring when he’s partnered with Detective Mills (Brad Pitt), a young and idealistic new transfer, to investigate a series of murders that clearly represent the seven deadly sins.
Thanks to David Fincher’s excellent directing, this straightforward plot is absolutely enthralling. Visually brooding and flawlessly paced, the direction allows the story to unfold seamlessly, all leading to an absolutely nerve-shattering twist ending.
The acting is also clutch. Brad, Morgan, and Gwyneth all nail their respective roles. And what Kevin Spacey does with the role of the villain is nothing short of brilliant. There’s also a number of supporting cast members who give strong performances.
I typically don’t like a lot of over-stylized editing, but this movie did a great job of balancing flashy cutting with very understated edits, depending on the scene.
When Se7en was in the theaters, I heard a number of people say that it was far too gory for them. However, with the subsequent rise of “torture porn,” it actually seems somewhat tame by today’s standards. As far as blood and guts go, it’s really not that gory. It’s more disturbing than anything. But it’s not disturbing for the sake of being disturbing. It’s strategically unnerving to enhance the effectiveness of the plot and visual theme.
It’s hard to believe this movie is almost twenty years old. I think it has aged very well, and if people can get past some of the more distressing scenes, they would see that it’s a thrilling masterpiece.
Here are a few of my favorite lines from Se7en:
William Somerset: “It’s impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions.”
Dr. Beardsley: “He’s experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone I’ve encountered, give or take, and he still has Hell to look forward to.”
John Doe: “Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face.”
David Mills: “What’s in the box?!”
About the author: Greg McCabe is a born-and-raised Texan. His debut novel, The Undying Love, was published in 2013. Greg enjoys all genres of fiction, but seems to gravitate towards horror and science fiction.