Quick Hit: What’s in the box????
People have difficulty classifying movies like Se7en. Is it a horror film? Is it a crime drama? I for one believe it’s both, which may be due to the fact the when I first watched it as a young teen, I had nightmares about the sloth scene. But I don’t think that there is any denying that Se7en is a well-crafted thriller that features solid acting from its leads, leading to an ending that is just short of glorious.
For those that haven’t seen this – Se7en follows Detectives Somerset and Mills as they track a killer who is killing people according to the seven deadly sins – gluttony, greed, pride, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy.
I think one of the best things about Se7en is the way director David Lynch shoots the film. Everything in this city is grimy. The apartment complexes are run down, the roads are bumpy, the place is just disgusting. This fits well into the motivation of someone like John Doe, as a city like this is bound to cause some sort of mental breakdown. This is reflected in Somerset himself, who is now ready to retire from the force despite not having any specific plans. He’s just ready for his faith in humanity to be restored, even knowing all the crimes he could still solve – because he just can’t do it anymore.
Another thing about the setting of the film – it’s nearly always raining. The finale is therefore contrasted because there isn’t any rain, which should be the first evidence that something major may occur. And the ending is one of the great finales that I can think of in a film. I honestly think if the movie ended right at that moment, the film would be an “A+”. But the movie continues for a short time, despite us knowing what’s going to happen. It’s just a bit unnecessary and detracts from the work that Lynch has done to this point.
The acting in this film is pretty good. Morgan Freeman is believable as the wise but checked out Somerset, possibly at his best when taking the time alone to do things like research in the library or study a crime scene. Brad Pitt as Mills is perfectly cast as the young man who requested being transferred to this hole of a city, who has a bit of a temper and something to prove to everyone. Gwyneth Paltrow is adequate as Mills’ wife Tracy, home with the dogs awaiting her husband. Kevin Spacey puts his mark on the movie despite only being in a portion of it, and his performance seems even creepier with the recent allegations against him. There are also some great character actors hidden within the folds of the film, including R. Lee Ermey and John C. McGinley.
Make no mistake – this film is violent and pretty gross in its implications. There’s plenty of scenes that are massively uncomfortable, and a lot of them will hit you where you feel the most guilty. Despite there being very few violent acts carried out on the screen itself, there is enough violence to give you the willies.
So is Se7en a good crime horror? Absolutely. Lynch shows why he is so talented and why he really took off in the nineties. I’m giving it an “A-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"