Se7en review (Blu-ray)

Se7en is a dark, gritty masterpiece from the much-celebrated director David Fincher that follows two detectives as they investigate a shocking series of crimes. A number of corpses begin cropping up in town, all the victims of heinous acts of brutality that symbolise the Seven Deadly Sins. The hard boiled Somerset (Freeman) and new guy Mills (Pitt) are on the hunt to find the killer, but the case proves to be a hard one to crack, and with disturbing twists around every corner, they are soon plunged into a nightmare scenario of the likes that they have never seen before. But you've seen it before, right? Well, I hope you have, because Se7en is not one to be missed.

High definition remaster aside, Se7en has always been an incredibly atmospheric film. It's so dark, yet you're never once compelled to turn it off because of just how unnervingly bleak it is. In all its unsettling grime and grunge, the film is a perfectly paced thriller that plays out damn near like a straight-up horror. The sets were dressed with inspiration from real crime scene photos and you could never once doubt that from what's on screen. It's realistic, raw, and totally engrossing, and on Blu-ray, this 1995-released movie looks and sounds like it was shot last week. If it wasn't for the recycling of special features from the 2000 two-disc DVD, this would be a truly triumphant release for an unforgettable diamond of cinema.

The film has all the traits of a Fincher movie, from the almost depressing electric score by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, to the inspiring, creative opening titles that were to become frequently duplicated in the post-2000 new wave of horror films. The disturbing nature of the dark visuals Fincher brought to the table are also a staple of his work and you can see such grit throughout so many of his films.

Se7en is like the culmination of all of Fincher's auteurial trademarks, which created a masterfully disconcerted thriller for the ages, and in high definition, each of those factors have never looked more impressive. It's so good, your Blu-ray player will be urging you to pick it up.

EXTRAS ???? Behind the Story: four very different and informative, feature-length audio commentaries; a narrated gallery of production designs; five collections of stills each made complete with their own commentary; Additional Footage: seven (would you believe it?) extended scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, including the original opening, and all with audio commentaries; the original “test” ending and animated storyboards of the ending that was never shot, again, both with commentaries; Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence: three angle options that let you see the famous sequence as a construction of early storyboards, as well as the rough and final versions, all alongside six audio preferences which include two commentaries, English Stereo Surround Sound, English Dolby Ex Near Field Mix, DTS ES Surround Mix, and the English 24bit/96khz Stereo Mix; Extras: theatrical electronic press kit; three commentaries and a demonstration on audio mastering, video mastering and colour correction for the home theatre; a three-scene example of how the original video master and 5.1 sound mix compare to the master and mix from 2000 (so it's totally irrelevant on this Blu-ray release); and finally, the theatrical trailer.Yes, for those of you who own the two-disc release from 2000, you will see that the Blu-ray doesn't contain any new special features. In fact it actually includes less if you take into account the New Line Cinema weblink and cast and crew filmographies, but let's be honest, they're never of any use. I'd have liked to have seen some new hi-def features for this edition, but I'm willing to forgive because of just how well-stocked the 2000 release was.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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