Scroll to the end of the article to read or post responses.

Author: Wolfgang Neuhaus --- Date: 12/22/95 --- Copyright: THE THING BERLIN

directed by David Fincher

Some weeks ago "Seven" by David Fincher opened in German cinemas. If you like, you can call it a further example for the "Hannibal Lector - Genre": an extreme, but well-made horror-psycho-crime film.

It begins with one of the best title sequences I`ve ever seen. It`s a piece of experimental film, done with the newest digital equipment, and shows the ritual preparations of the murders. The film is perfect in form (and visually much more attractive than "The silence of the lambs" for example). Maybe John Doe isn`t such an intellectual guy as Hannibal Lector, but the whole exposition shows a similar conflict: on the one hand the murderer, who kills in a ritual way, inspired by the seven deadly sins (greed, lust and so on), on the other an elder police officer, who is very disappointed in real life, the living circumstances in the city (a very apocalyptic mood). He isn't an intellectual, but he has intellectual interests. The third person is a young, naive police officer, who will be the "victim" - the conflict between the police men is that the younger one, in spite of the problems in the world, has a positive world view, so to say: "He loves life" (and he will be shocked at the end).

The murderer is, similar to Hannibal Lector, an artificial character "beyond good and evil". I think the psychological motivations are much more articulated conceptually in the two Lector - Films ("The silence...", "Red dragon") - in a certain sense this guy is a bit superficial, but he and the elder police man have some world views or attitudes that could be comparable: isolation, cynicism, no illusions. Okay, there are differences. The police man in this case (opposite to Jodie Foster in "The silence..") couldn't be shocked in a similar way, because he has a way of autonomous thinking, hasn't a naive confidence in the circumstances, has gone through his own "hell" of living - he is prepared for the confrontation. I remember the hard work of puzzling in "Red dragon," the police in "Seven" don't have much to do, but the crime aspect isn't really important. (By the way, "Red dragon" has very good aesthetics on its own.)

Another point: the crimes are very brutal and hard to see (or to imagine). It's hard to discuss. It's not a conventional horror movie, but it's really a frontier. The horror of the images has a dramatic function, but ... I don't know.

-Wolfgang Neuhaus


Email: ThingReviews

To post a response fill out the following form and click the "Submit" button. Or go back...
Your Comments:

Scroll down to read messages.

Darryl Erentzen --

Personally, I was disappointed by this movie because I was over-prepared by the advance hype. As far as I'm concerned it was a paint-by-numbers plot with an "ACME plug-in psycho-killer" (wait for the ad) and a couple of daytime tv cops.

More could have been done to explore some of the social criticisms/questions implied by the plot. The characters were flat, the acting only passable, and I was indifferent to the outcome (which most of the audience seemed to have figured out long before the tense music kicked in).

The only character I was remotely interested in was Brad Pitt's character's wife, of them all, she was the most believeable and sympathetic. Too bad I forget the actress ...

I give it a tentative thumbs up. Go on cheap night or wait for the video.

gianfranco zacco --

"the usual suspects" is a lot better!

Dayzi H --

This is a VERY evil, but good, movie. How the writer ever came up with such an evil plot and gory murders I will NEVER know. It is well made, considering that some of the murders could have not been any more real. I can definently say this movie realy freaked me out!

Sarah --

This movie is a bit too physco for me. But Brad Pitt is still looking pretty fine!!! If you sit down and think about what the movie is actually trying to get across, it has a good messaage.

lucas bowers --

The movie is a gross , entertaining look at reality from the represention of the charismatic nature lover from the dark side of the moon . Human nature is surely not to pevail in the context of the never ending but still mortal insignificant lives of some insignificant "good looking, suv it up ya ass " BRAD PITT