Recently, this column reviewed “Red Dragon” and “Copycat,” suspense films about serial killers. If you are still in the mood for homicide procedurals, one of the best serial killer movies is “Se7en,” which came out in 1995.
In “Se7en,” venerable actor Morgan Freeman plays William Somerset, an aging, world-weary detective who is scheduled to retire in a week. The jaded policeman is partnered with David Mills (played by Brad Pitt), a younger, and more energetic detective. In a wretched urban environment, they investigate a series of chilling murders where each of the victims has committed one of the “Seven Deadly Sins.” Finding the killer proves to be quite difficult since he has planned his crimes for a long time. Each day a new victim is discovered and each seems more horrid than the others.
“Se7en” is directed by David Fincher, who makes the film very dark and extremely disturbing. The crimes scenes, as well as the discussions of the crimes, are quite unsettling. An example is the first of the killer’s victims. We see the corpse of an obese man. His sin was gluttony. Fincher does a great job making the movie visually stunning. There is a lot of rain, and there are many scenes that are overcast.
Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are both great. With one old and unflappable and the other young and brash, Freeman and Pitt are a well-balanced pair and they act off of each other superbly. They are both highly intelligent and make a great team. Another strong performance is by Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Tracy, David’s devoted wife, who covets more attention and frets about raising a family with a cop as the breadwinner. Kevin Spacey gives a chilling performance as the unremorsesful killer, who is very disturbed and thinks that he is doing the right thing.
“Se7en” is one of the best suspense films of all time. But it is also one of the most gruesome, so be forewarned!