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  • Writer's pictureCeris

Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Se7en

This is a film I have seen before, and I was not expecting to like it, but I bloody loved it!

A serial killer begins murdering people according to the seven deadly sins, and it is up to a detective who is about to retire and another who just moved to the city to bring him to justice.

Morgan Freeman plays the soon to be retired Detective Lieutenant William Somerset who has recently been paired with Detective David Mills, who is not as patient as his partner and has rather large expectations. Mills has recently moved to the city with his wife Tracy.

The crime fighting duo are investigating a spate of murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. The first victim is a morbidly obese man who is forced to keep eating until his stomach bursts – this victim made my skin crawl. I did love the police officer’s comments when asked if the victim was actually dead, and Somerset asking Mills why he bothered asking the question in the first place. The bugs crawling all over the floor is my worst nightmare – I’m a bit of a germaphobe. I did love how the scene was set, the lighting was very dark, and you only got glimpses of the victim’s life from the torchlight, including the fact his hands and feet are tied. A bucket of vomit would make me react like Mills, but it’s clear Somerset has plenty of experience, and the pathologist seems somewhat excited by the finding. The word Gluttony is found written behind the refrigerator which gives the team their first clue.

The second victim is a criminal defence attorney who was forced to cut a pound of flesh from himself causing him to bleed to death. The word Greed was found written in the victim’s blood on the floor. This is when Somerset realises the killer is using the seven deadly sins as motive for the murders and realises that with two down there are another 5 to go.

Detective Mill’s wife invites Somerset over for dinner to allow the two men to get to know each other better. The train going past the house made me jump as it was so bloody loud – I couldn’t live in that house that’s for sure! Once Tracey has gone, the dynamic duo (that might be pushing it a bit) look over the notes of the crimes, and they find a picture of Eli’s Gould’s (the greed victim) wife, with blood painted around the eyes which they take to mean she would spot something out of place in the crime scene. They ask the distraught woman to look at the phots and she notices the painting on the wall is upside down. When the detectives return to the scene of the crime, they find fingerprints outlining the words Help Me.

They find out that the fingerprints belong to a man named Victor, who escaped being convicted of rape with the help of his lawyer – you guessed it – Eli Gould. They raid his apartment to find hundreds of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling which they later discover is to mask the smell of the poor guy tied to the bed. I won’t lie I fucking shit myself when he starts coughing and gasping but I’m glad they got to him before he died, especially as he had he had his hand cut off to leave the prints behind the painting in Gould’s office. They find the word Sloth on the wall, and from looking at pictures from the scene find out he has been tied to the bed for exactly one year – no wonder the guy looks the way he does. When Somerset & Mills ask to interview the victim, they are told he has chewed off his own tongue and his brain is mush.

Tracy meets with Somerset and confesses she is pregnant and isn’t sure she wants to bring up a child in the city especially as she is so miserable here – oh if only she knew what was coming, she would be leaving now! Later that day, Somerset goes to the library and gets a list of people who have checked out books relating to the seven deadly sins. On the list is a man named John Doe, who’s apartment they visit. What they don’t realise while they are there, is that he’s watching them, and starts shooting. A quick chase leads to Mills getting smacked on over the head with a tire iron and help at gunpoint before Joe Doe decides he is bored and legs it.

They search Doe’s apartment and find notebooks of his thoughts, trophies of his crimes, and a photo of Mill’s fighting off John Doe, who happened to be posing as a photographer. Suddenly the phone rings, and its John Doe who congratulates them on finding him and apologises for hitting Mills and tells him he admires him. He tells the pair however, that now they have found him, they have caused him to change his plans and then hangs up – cos that’s not stressful at all! They come across a photo of a young woman, a local prostitute, who they believe is the next victim along with a receipt to an S&M leather shop where Doe has placed an order.

They find a young girl dead in the back room of a bar, along with a man – who I’m pretty sure has been scarred for life now – forced by Doe to rape a kill the girl with a dildo with a blade attached to it. The owner is essentially fuck all help – think we can work out what time of establishment it is. The word Lust written on the door, confirms John Doe is still using the seven deadly sins as the basis for his crime. The following morning, a model is found dead with the word Pride written at the crime scene. She has had her nose cut off (to spite her face), and we find out is following Doe giving her the option of suicide by sleeping pills or living scarred for life but being able to call for help – I know which option I would choose.

The team return to the police headquarters, when John Doe walks up to them, with his hand bleeding from shaving off his fingertips, and gives himself up as John Doe. He talks to his lawyer and agrees that if he can take Mills and Somerset to the final two bodies, he will confess to the murders, but if they disagree, he will plead insanity and the victims of the final two crimes may never be found. Obviously, they agree, and during their preparation for the trip – obvs they are having hidden microphones – Mills tries to tell Somerset about concerns he has about Tracy but chickens out.

The trio travel to the desert followed by police cars and a helicopter. John Doe explains he committed the crimes to show the true evil in the world and punish the wicked. HE also believes he will be remembered and admired for what he has done, which causes Mills to lose his shit, but Somerset is calm as ever, although his concern is clear. They stop near some metal towers, and they walk to an open spot. After a few moments, a van appears but Somerset stops it away from Doe who is left stood with Mills. The driver explains someone paid him $500 to deliver a parcel to Mills at this spot at 7 o’clock and gives the box to Somerset, who opens it and recoils in horror. I won’t lie I did NOT see this next bit coming!

Somerset runs back towards Mills, however Doe has already started the final part of his plan. He tells Mills that he admires him and his life and was jealous of him and his wife, making him the sixth deadly sin Envy, so he paid her a visit and tried to play husband with Tracy. Oddly enough that didn’t work, so he took a souvenir – her head. He tells a shocked Mills that she pleaded for her life as she was pregnant but that didn’t stop him. Somerset tries to reason with Mills telling him that Doe wants him to kill him, but Mills, devastated by his wife’s death, shoots Doe in the head – and then 5 more times to be sure – which results in Mill’s becoming the seventh and final deadly sin of Wrath. Mill’s is taken away and Somerset indicates he will stay on the force following Mill’s departure.

As the camera pans out, Somerset quotes Hemingway, saying: "'The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part." And I have to say, I agree with the second part too.

As I said at the start of this review, this film is not one I thought I would like, but holy moly it was so good!! That ending especially!


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