David Fincher's Se7en is certainly a nightmare factory of a movie. Another one pretty much cemented as a modern classic, if you haven't seen it, you should. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star as detectives who have been tasked with tracking down a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his guide. From forcing a fat guy to eat himself to death to strapping someone to a bed for months to simulate sloth, these ironic punishments are the fore-runner to death by game movies like Saw.
The whole film is dark. There is a scene where the detectives actually find the killer in the middle of the day and chase him but everything is so shadowed and rainy that you never see what the guy looks like. Even the famous finale, in an open field of wind turbines, feels oppressive and claustrophobic. Gwyneth Paltrow turns in a decent supporting role as Brad Pitt's wife but the actor who most got my attention in this was Kevin Spacey. Having just come out of his breathrough role in The Usual Suspects, his casting as John Doe in Se7en gave helped cement at least his creepy bastard reputation. I liked that the killer wasn't anyone we had previously seen or known. Like real serial killers, it is just some random guy choosing random targets. The ending, to me, evokes Don Quixote and the idea of tilting at windmills. That these cops ever thought they could stop the killer seems similarly pointless. Great flick.