[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher. These articles contain spoilers.]
Where as Alien3 has been forgotten thanks to ignominy, the shadow of the first two Alien movies, and its botched production, Se7en has persevered for almost twenty years if for no other reason than what’s in the fucking box. Se7en is where David Fincher‘s filmography truly begins, and it’s fitting that a director who self-identifies as cynical should lead with a movie that abhors human nature, massacres the good in more ways than one, and even feels slight reverence towards its heinous killer. There’s a beauty to the cruelty as the movie presents a stylized realism that taps into a rotting, fetid world but does so without establishing a particular locale, drenching the unnamed city in rain, and sinking the shots into darkness and low angles.
Se7en is where David Fincher finally got to come out and play. Alien 3 was a trap that became a prison and eventually he just had to flee from the depressing hellhole of that production. He returned to music videos thinking he would never make another movie again, and when Se7en came along, he went all in on a “meditation on evil and how evil gets on you and you can’t get it off.” Fincher didn’t return with an open palm. He came back with a clenched fist.