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David Fincher's SE7EN turns 20 today, what's in the box?!

09.22.2015by: Eric Walkuski

What's in the box?! Why, nothing sinister, just a gift for SE7EN. It turns 20-years-old today! Don't eat too much cake, you glutton.

Not breaking news or occasion to geek-out, just a quick reminder that on September 22, 1995, the movie world was rocked back on its heels by the release of David Fincher's SE7EN, a detective story unlike any detective story released before it. Starring Brad Pitt (at the time just another Hollywood pretty boy), Morgan Freeman (a reliable character actor but no marquee name), and directed by the guy who made ALIEN 3 and some pretty good Madonna videos, we had no reason to believe SE7EN would be the engrossing, frightening, positively overwhelming experience it turned out to be. On that day, a modern classic was born.

From those disorienting opening credits to the gloomy mood set by cinematographer Darius Khondji to the craftsmanship of several disturbing murder set-pieces, SE7EN laid thick an atmosphere of foreboding and tension, one that still resonates whenever you endeavor to re-watch it. (And how many movies and TV shows were quick to adopt Fincher and Khondji's visual style almost immediately after the film came out?) Add to that a surprisingly impactful central relationship between two archetypal characters - the weary old detective on the verge of retirement and his hot-headed new partner - and Fincher's film not only consistently jabbed us with persuasive imagery, it genuinely made us care for the protagonists, who we eventually learn - with considerable dismay - are simply pawns in hands of a truly wicked villain. (Do I have to make a case for Kevin Spacey's John Doe being one of the greatest villains in cinema history?)

I could write all day about the film, but I won't. Just wanted to bring it up because I love it so much and today's a good day to celebrate it. Truth be told, I didn't see it on its opening Friday; I saw it the next day, so technically my anniversary with SE7EN is tomorrow. But those of you lucky enough to be on the very front lines can pat yourselves on the back for witnessing the genius of David Fincher's masterpiece from Day One, September 22, 1995. Maybe you're the ones deserving of a surprise delivery.

Oh yeah, here's a f*cking great scene from the movie:

 

Extra Tidbit: What are your fondest SE7EN memories?

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