Seven (Warner Home Video): One of the landmark thrillers of the 1990s, Seven was a dark and uncomprimising serial killer film that also turned out to be an unlikely box office hit.
Set in unnamed modern city where it is perpetually raining, Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a veteran about to retire has to solve one last case with a rookie partner, David Mills (Brad Pitt).
Mills is ambitious and has come to the city with his reluctant wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), to solve important cases, but his first is a puzzling and gruesome one involving a killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins.
Brilliantly scripted by Andrew Kevin Walker, it not only reinvigorated the serial killer genre but also established David Fincher as a great visual director, after the misfire of his debut on Alien 3 (largely due to studio interference).
He cranks up the tension wonderfully and paints a hellish picture of a modern city infected by evil, indifference and corruption.
Darius Khondji’s cinematopgraphy was also first rate, creating a dark and moody look which accentuated the films themes and subject matter.
A lot of the violence is implied rather than shown, although this actually has the effect of making the film more sinister as it slowly reaches its bold and unusual final act.
Although bleak and disturbing for a mainstream release, it became a major hit and ended up earning $327 million worldwide.
The special features are terrific and include the following:
- The Stars: David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman Audio Commentary
- The Story: Richard Dyer, Andrew Kevin Walker, Richard Francis-Bruce, Michael De Luca, and David Fincher Audio Commentary
- The Picture: Darius Khondji, Arthur Max, Richard Francis-Bruce, Richard Dyer, and David Fincher Audio Commentary
- The Sound: Ren Klyce, Howard Shore, Richard Dyer, and David Fincher Audio Commentary
- Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Production Design Featurette
- Stills Gallery
- The Notebooks
- Theatrical EPK
- Theatrical Trailer
- Mastering for the Home Theatre: Audio, Video, Colour Correction & Telecine Gallery
- Original Opening
Seven is exactly the kind of well-crafted film that looks fantastic in HD, with Fincher’s visuals and the production design benefiting from the Blu-ray format.
This disc duplicates a lot of the extras from the DVD, which is welcome since they were excellent, but it is still an essential purchase for any true cinephile.