Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / Se7en

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/seven_shot5l_3.jpg
"SLOTH"
Let's face it, the entire movie is Nightmare Fuel. The most horrifying thing about it though, were the murders...
Advertisement:

Unmarked spoilers below!


  • Every single one of the bizarre, extreme, horrifically painful "seven deadly sins" murders. They all, to some twisted extent, embody exemplary uses of Gory Discretion Shot and Nothing Is Scarier, creating some of modern film's most disturbing visuals — with most of the events and implications existing in our head.
    • The most infamous: Sloth, forced to be bedridden and starved FOR A YEAR. The stench of putrefaction was hidden by dozens upon dozens of pine tree air fresheners. And just when you thought things couldn't get worse, in one of the most iconic Jump Scares of all time, he gasps for air.
      • The SWAT-team actors were not told about the sloth victim still being alive.. so their reaction is genuine.
      • The actor who played "Sloth" (that's right, an actual human being, not some animatronic dummy created by the special effects department) weighed 96 pounds at his audition. David Fincher jokingly said that if he lost ten pounds he had the role. Later on, when the actor was on set for the first time, he admitted to only losing six. And he was in full makeup when he admitted so.
      • "He's experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone I've encountered, give or take...and he still has Hell to look forward to."
      • Eagle-eyed viewers might notice a particular detail about Sloth: HIS LEFT HAND IS MISSING. Granted, it was because Doe took it as part of his plan and NOT because it had rotted away somehow, but still...
      • The small glimpse we see at the photos John Doe took of Sloth to log his condition's decline. The physical deterioration implied between the last picture and the first, and the fact that the emaciated shell of a human that Sloth becomes was once just another person is horrifying.
      • One of the most horrifying, haunting things about Victor’s murder is that it is an extremely slow, torturous death that occurs in a crowded apartment complex and nobody notices because he’s forcefully gagged most of the time.note  The entire time he was surrounded by potentially hundreds of people who could’ve been able to rescue him if he was able to just scream for help.
    • Advertisement:
    • Gluttony is horrifying, and also large amounts of Nausea Fuel. It's worth noting that a ruptured stomach is one of the most painful deaths possible.
    • Greed; just imagine that you have to decide what part of your body is more disposable to pay the deed of one pound of flesh, and then you have to cut it off yourself!
    • Lust is a stiff contender for the most disturbing death, her genitals repeatedly mutilated with a bladed strap-on until she bled to death. It doesn't matter that none of it was really onscreen.
      • Even worse is how it took place inside a club lit only in red with abrasively loud, sexy-in-a-depraved-sort-of-way music blasting in the background. It wouldn't be a stretch to call it a close equivalent to hell on Earth.
      • The man's traumatized confession is truly terrifying in a Nothing Is Scarier kind of way. Even scarier is how Leland Orser prepared for the role that almost rivals that of the Sloth actor: he didn't sleep for a few days, in order to give himself an authentically traumatized appearance, and practiced rapidly breathing in and out so he could hyperventilate on cue. The result is truly nightmarish.
        OH GOD GET THIS THING OFF OF ME! GET THIS THING OFF OF ME! GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!
        He made me do it! He - he put that thing on me...! A-A-And he made me wear it!... He told me to fuck her, and... and I did! I fucked her! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! He had a gun in my mouth! The fucking gun was in my throat! FUCK! Oh God, oh God... please help me. Help me. Please help me.
    • Advertisement:
    • It's a testament to the sheer atmosphere of the film that even the murder given the least screen time nevertheless succeeds in being immensely disturbing in its own right. The Pride victim has her nose forcefully chopped off, at which point she is given the choice of calling a hospital or killing herself. Guess which one she picks.
  • Everything about John Doe. A sadistic, disturbingly calm monster who is thoroughly average in appearance, who wants to cleanse the world of what he sees as sin based on a completely incomprehensible belief system, who shows absolutely no mercy or empathy towards his victims or anyone else and who is genuinely convinced that he's doing it for a good cause. There's a very good reason he's considered such a terrifying monster despite never being shown killing anyone on screen.
    • His habit of cutting off his own fingerprints to avoid identification.
    • Just the way he screams "DETECTIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!" following his entering the police station is chilling.
      • The scene gets even worse on repeat viewings, as we see John Doe covered in blood and we know what he just got done doing to poor Tracy...
    • The Room Full of Crazy with his hundreds upon hundreds of journals is unnerving in its own right, especially when you learn that they're all real: a member of the crew actually wrote out all of them.
  • The last twenty or so minutes; a very disturbing end to a very disturbing film.
    • "What's in the box? WHAT'S IN THE FUCKING BOX?!!"
    • "Become vengeance, David. Become...Wrath."
    • "Oh, he didn't know..."
  • The opening credits sequence is incredibly unnerving all on its own. The way it's filmed combined with the music gives us a very clear idea of what it's like to be inside the mind of someone like John Doe and, boy, it is not a pleasant experience.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report