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.
Seven is directed by David Fincher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker. It stars Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey and R. Lee Ermey. Music is scored by Howard Shore and cinematography by Darius Khondji.
An unnamed US city and two cops are on the trail of a serial killer who kills his victims according to which one of the seven deadly sins they have committed.
Having been stung by the studio interference and negative fall out regarding his directorial debut feature film, Alien 3, David Fincher waited three years before committing to a project that he had control over. The result was Seven, a dark masterpiece of unremitting creeping dread that showcased the work of a clinically excellent director. Seven is not just a movie, it's an experience, an assault on the senses, a jolt to the brain, a trawl through the dark recess of some sick city where it always rains and the darkness holds many fears. This is no boorish slasher movie, it's psychological discord 101, we only see the aftermath of crimes, the discussions of which forces us to delve deep into our own imagination to fill in the blanks, forcing us to go where we don't want to go, you sense the director is somewhere gleefully pulling our strings.
"But that's the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it's common, it's trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I'm setting the example. What I've done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed... forever"
Seven is very much an ultimate horror film, really is there anything more scary than a serial killer who is smarter than the cops chasing him? Not only that but they are, oblivious as they be, part of the master plan. This killer is not only unstoppable in perpetrating his violent crimes, he is, as Freeman's weary retirement bound Detective Somerset says, methodical and patient. It's going to end bad, the cops know it and so do we, and that's when Fincher and Walker stick their hands into our guts and pull out the last semblance of solids to deliver one of the greatest endings of modern cinema. An ending fit to grace any noir, neo-noir or smart ass psychological horror movie from across the ages. With each viewing of Seven there's the repeating wave of bleak emotions that come as the reversed end credits roll, desolation and disbelief, sadness and shock, our trip through earthly hell is over, but only in the psychical sense!
Faultless cast performances, no doubt eked out by what we now know is a task-master director, photography that brilliantly brings to "light" the melancholic sheen of a decaying society and a Howard Shore score that crawls out of the speakers and cloaks your body like some evil Incubus or Succubus. Seven, a masterpiece of unease and evil wrung out by a master director. 10/10