Written by: jmh314
Some films are just such a wild ride from start to finish that they seem to be over in an instant. The viewer gets so engrossed in the story that it almost feel like you are there but the next thing you know the credits are rolling and the lights go up. From start to finish this is the type of experience that I had with the suspense horror/thriller film Se7en. It is dark, gritty, and gloomy but is still a captivating, edge of your seat horror/thriller. The film relies on substance and style in its cinematography and script to set the tone. It is one of the most well-done atmospheric films you will find in the horror genre and doesnt sacrifice it's story to do so. Overall Se7en is one intricate puzzle and all the pieces come together and fall right into place, something that is hard feat to accomplish in a genre film like this.
As Se7en opens we soon learn Detective Somerset is the hardened veteran detective who is on his way to retire and get away from the horrors of his job. His replacement is Detective Mills who was brought in early to learn some of the quirks of the job/city from Somerset. The two soon get a call for a crime and arrive at a gruesome scene where a man was forced to eat until his stomach literally burst and killed him. Unfortunately they leave the scene before discovering the most important clue of all.
The next day Detective Somerset doesnt believe Detective Mills is ready for a case like the murder from the day before. However, Detective Mills is already put in charge of another murder that has been found, one which left the word "Greed" written on the floor in blood. After hearing about this Detective Somerset still has issues with the fat mans murder the day before and heads back to that crime scene. He is able to uncover a new clue which was the word "Gluttony" written in grease behind the refrigerator.
With two separate murders having words like "Greed" and "Gluttony" appear written at the scene, Detective Somerset is able to figure out these are two of the seven deadly sins. He warns that there will be 5 more murders all revolving around the remaining sins. Somerset asks to stay in the department until the case is solved or the murders are over.
Somerset and Mills begin to get in over their head as the unknown killer seems to be toying with them. Every time they think they have a clue it turns out to be a dead end. Detective Somerset soon begins to find new ways to investigate the case, ones that arent legal in any sort of way. As we learn how well educated Somerset is in poetry and literature, he soon believe this killer is preaching to them. With no "official" leads in the case, Detective Mills and Somerset game of cat and mouse is only going to get better before it gets worse. Will they be able to put the pieces together before the body count rises? One thing is for certain, the killings will only stop if they catch the culprit or if the seven kills based on sin are completed.
Trying to give an effective plot summary is tough because Se7en has more twists than a pretzel and I dont want to spoil any of it. The best way to summarize it all is that every time the film seems to be leading somewhere, it jerks in a different direction. I dont know how they were able to get everything to line up as well as they did because many times when a film has so many distortions it often gets entangled with itself. Its ability to not leave confusion or plot holes is what separates Se7en from most other similar films in the genre.
The acting was quite good for a film like this. Morgan Freeman does a great job of being the sophisticated Cop who is experienced enough to know everything is not as it seems. He shows compassion when it is needed but remains skeptical of everything around him in order to always be in search of the truth. Brad Pitt is okay as Detective Mills. He sometimes gets on your nerves and seems too arrogant but thats what I believe he was meant to do. When we do meet our killer, he is wonderfully portrayed. I will not reveal the actor in case someone doesnt know and wants to be surprised. But I will say the actor who plays our unknown killer does a great job as a very quiet and articulate yet truly twisted killer.
The cinematography was excellent the whole film is dark and gritty. The settings are always rainy to keep that dark gloomy feel and make the viewer wonder if there is ever any things positive in this city. It feels almost old fashioned noir feel in it's execution as the desolation really has an abrasive comic book feel to it. The way director David Fincher set the film is the only way that could make this film work. The special effects arent anything that havent been seen before, but the style and use are what make it so successful. A little effective blood here, a little twist on a crime scene there, which causes everything to flow naturally in the dark and disturbing city around Mills and Somerset as well as show the insanity behind the killers actions.
My only gripe about this film is that everything builds into this great massive story, but it ends almost too neatly. The ending was a bit of a twist and a good way to end, but I just think with the build up throughout the movie that maybe I expected something even more vehement. Yeah it was an easy way to neatly end the story and satisfy the viewers but with the build up with the distressing details of the case it could of ended with a much bigger bang.
Despite feeling like it could have ended with an even bigger punch to the viewers gut, Se7en really isnt a film that you can be too critical of. Not many films are able to be filled with style and substance yet keep such a gruesome and enigmatic ingenuity throughout. Se7en isnt by any means for the weak of stomach as some of the crime scenes and details are quite appalling, but this harrowing story is better because of this. It is a film that will upset some and awe many and in the realm of suspenseful horror/thrillers this is the top of the class.