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David Fincher Month Continues... 'SE7EN'

by Joey Paur



David Fincher Month Continues with ‘Se7en'

David Fincher literally washed his hands of Alien 3 never to go back to it. It was just a horrible experience for him. I imagine a first film for anybody would be a horrible experience, because it is a time of learning. Learning about filmmaking and learning about the people that run the film industry. After he walked off the project you would think no one would want to work with him again.

After Alien 3 Fincher directed a couple short films and another music video for Aerosmith. 3 years later he got another directing gig, and I think it is the film that defined his career as a director. It is one of the darkest, evil movies ever made. The movie is called ‘Se7en'. I look at a film like this and see where Christopher Nolan may have gotten inspiration from it for his dark night films. They share a certain element of grittiness.

I was 16 or 17 years old when I went and saw ‘Se7en' and it just blew my freakin mind. I couldn't believe the movie I had just watched. I really liked it, but wow, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked into that theater. I think it was the first movie that actually made me think about and contemplate life. It scared the shit out of me because it so damn real.

I will never forget the ending of that film and how my gut just turned on me when I saw the wind blow the strands of blond hair out of that damn box. The expression of Morgan Freemans character Detective Lt. William Somerset and then Bad Pitts character Detective David Mills realization of what is going on. "What's in the box!" The desperation in his voice is haunting. As Kevin Spacey's character John Doe just reaveals with no emotion what he had done... seeing Pitt react to it... wow. I have placed the film clip of this below.

I watch it now and it still hits me in the gut. It's not one of those movies I can watch over and over again. The movie is amazing and I appreciate what it is. I still think it is one of David Finchers best films. If I remember correctly Se7en was voted the #8 scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Here is some movie trivia for you regarding the movie ‘Se7en'.

While filming the scene where Mills chases John Doe in the rain, Brad Pitt fell and his arm went through a car windscreen, requiring surgery. This accident was worked into the script of the film.


Shia LaBeouf might loose his pinky finger. Wonder how The Bay will work that into the Transformers script.

The victim tied to the bed for a year was not an animatronic model, but a very skinny actor made up to look even more corpse-like. Rob Bottin used a set of exaggerated teeth to make the head look smaller and more shrunken from malnutrition.


Good Lord that scene scared the living shit out of me!

All of John Doe's books were real books, written for the film. They took two months to complete and cost $15,000. According to Somerset, two months is also the time it would take the police to read all the books.

Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker wrote the script over a two year period while working at a branch of Tower Records.


He must have hated his job.

As preparation for his traumatic scene in the interrogation room, Leland Orser would breathe in and out very rapidly so that his body would be overly saturated with oxygen, giving him the ability to hyperventilate. He also did not sleep for a few days to achieve his character's disoriented look.

Denzel Washington turned down the part that went to Brad Pitt.

David Cronenberg was offered a chance to direct this but he turned it down.

Before Kevin Spacey was set to shoot his first scene, he asked director David Fincher if he should shave his head for the role. David Fincher replied "If you do it, I'll do it." Both Fincher and Spacey were bald for the remainder of the movie production.

Shortly before shooting John Doe, a flash of Mills' wife's face appears on the screen, a technique that David Fincher uses again in Fight Club (1999).

The producers intended that Kevin Spacey should receive top billing at the start of the movie but he insisted that his name not appear in the opening credits, so as to surprise the audience with the identity of the killer. To compensate, he is listed first in the closing credits.

Even though he's probably one of the most horrifying and sadistic killers in cinematic history, John Doe isn't seen killing anyone on screen.


See, now that's just crazy! This guy was a monster who killed all these people but we never see him do it. That's amazing.

The ending in the movie is the ending in the original draft of the screenplay. Producer Arnold Kopelson had it rewritten and the ending became a race to save Tracey's life. When David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman read the new ending, they all demanded the that original ending be put back in or they wouldn't do the movie.


If you have not seen this movie you have to watch it. This is one of the scariest movies ever made for the fact that it is real. That there are people in this world like John Doe, and this type of thing could happen to anyone, no one is safe. Just writing about this movie and thinking about it gets me thinking and I get a nervous feeling in my gut. I don't think I will watch it tonight. After watching this movie it will stay with you forever.

Stay tuned because David Fincher month will continue.

Here is a clip from the end scene of the film to remind you what I have been talking about. If you havent seen the movie yet then I suggest you don't wach it because it is the end.

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