Seven (1995)

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A retiring detective and his young successor investigate a series of bizarre murders based on the seven deadly sins.

The lukewarm reception for David Fincher’s debut Alien 3 resulted in most writing him off as another style over substance hack from the MTV generation and no-one was expecting his follow up to be much of interest; let alone a virtual modern masterpiece. Fincher had clearly been studying the stylistic hallmarks of Ridley Scott and the dark, brooding atmosphere crossed with artistic visuals are very much in his tradition. Although the formula of world-weary educated gentleman cop teamed up with a young hot head is hardly an original one, excellent performances and intelligent writing steer the material clear of cliche, and the imagery of the grotesque never descends into unnecessary gore or sensationalism. Complimented by a suitably claustrophobic soundtrack and a brilliantly unpredictable plot twist, I struggle to see how this film could have been any better.

In the absurdly overcrowded marketplace of the serial killer movie, this stands head and shoulders above the rest as the very, very best of the genre. And yes, that includes the over-rated Silence Of The Lambs.

10/10

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