#720 – SE7EN
The Plot – Someone is committing seven murders to represent the Seven Deadly Sins; Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt try to stop him.
Why it’s so great – This movie is what put David Fincher on the map, and established him as the preeminent psychological horror guy of the ‘90s. (He would follow up with THE GAME and FIGHT CLUB.) Amazing visuals, a tense atmosphere and dark lighting that has been copied (X-Files, CSI) ever since. Most importantly, emphasis on a taut powerful script that will leave you emotionally shattered with the ending. Pitt and Freeman have great chemistry and work well together.
Holds up? – Because gore has become so commonplace on network TV (like CSI, others), the shock of the visuals have faded some from 12 years ago, at least for me. However, the acting and plot are still very real, and the pace is just perfect.
Suspension of Disbelief Index – 4 (out of 10). The usual caveat about serial killers who spend that much time setting up their acts must be given, and no city is that depressing and dangerous. Still, those effects are for mood, and the tone here is very serious. You’re not supposed to be laughing.
Genre Grade – Crime Thriller? Psychological Horror? Either way, A+.
Sex/Violence/Nudity? – A little bit of violence, mostly in the aftermath (of the murders). What’s there is disturbing, if only for what it suggests. I cannot stress strongly enough how much of an adult movie this is.
Pantheon Percentile – Along with SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, arguably the best thriller of the decade. Virtually every shot is perfect, and the ending will give you two hours worth of discussion at the coffee shop afterward. I know we’ve been desensitized to violence since then, but I still think this works. Very well. 93.