Se7en (Blu-ray Review)

A decade before the incarnation of Saw, the crime thriller Seven (stylized as Se7en) “saw” its reign in the theaters some 15 years ago in 1995.  My God, has it been that long?  And honestly, I remember really liking the film, but for some reason I never revisited the film again.  Must be a lack of time thing.  Yeah, that sounds about right.  Anyway, that’s all in the past now and when I got the call to review the Warner Home Video catalog release, I took the plight despite all the other work I am currently buried under. I guess for some reason I find these serial killer features very hard to resist so without further ado…this ladies and gentlemen is the Blu-ray review of Se7en.


Se7en was a huge commercial success back in the day, taking in over $327 million at the box office internationally.  The film was directed by a man who needs no introduction, David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac, Fight Club), and stars Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey and R. Lee Ermey.  If you know anything about the film, then you would know the storyline is quite sadistic in nature as it deals with murders all corresponding to each of the “seven” deadly sins: gluttony, envy, lust, pride, sloth, greed and wrath.  Needless to say, religious devotees may want to stay away from this feature if they are easily offended.

My second go around with Se7en proved just as delightful as my first helping was some 15 years ago.  While the film may seem just a tad dated, there’s no denying the appeal of the subject matter and the wicked web screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker weaves.  When you sit back and reflect upon the viewing experience and compare your own notes with the film’s synopsis, it’s actually quite a brilliant tale that still engrosses you even upon repeat viewings.  It almost scores a perfect score in my book…almost.

The production of Se7en is just about as interesting as the movie itself.  The film definitely comes with its own baggage.  As you will learn about in the special features, there was more than one ending originally intended for the feature’s finale.  After researching all the different variations, I am quite pleased a compromise was made with the one we see here, birthed by Fincher’s creativity.  As I stated before about Walker’s screenplay, I think the film’s conclusion here is quite brilliant in a sadistic, but mind-bending kind of way.

There’s really not much more to say about the film without diving too deep into spoiling key plot moments (and I don’t want to do that for the viewers out there who have not seen this one yet).  Simply put, in my opinion, Se7en is as good as they come in the genre of crime thrillers.  You will be hard pressed to find anything better in the past decade.  Just like Fincher’s 10th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of Fight Club, this one comes with my highest endorsement.

You want to know what my favorite quote from the movie is?  That’s too bad, because even if you don’t I’m going to share it with you anyway.  Now I feel like fellow Why So Blu writer Aaron Neuwirth.

David Mills: He’s a nut bag.  Just because he has a library card, doesn’t make him Yoda.


David Fincher’s chilling directorial vision has been faithfully remastered under his supervision, tender love and care.  The beautifully rendered 1080p VC-1 presentation arrives o the Blu-ray format with a framed aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (mislabeled as 2.4:1 on the back of the Blu-ray book case).  Se7en’s transfer reminds me of how great Fincher’s Fight Club looked on the Blu-ray format last year (see the full review here).  Despite the film’s gritty subject matter and dark sets, the video looks phenomenal here.  Skin tones look normal, blacks are deep and inky and textures, including flesh and fabrics, are all razor sharp.  This one is pretty!  What more can you ask for in a film that’s over 15 years old?


The world of Se7en is brought to life on Blu-ray with a haunting DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround track.  Why does it seem to almost always be raining in the world of Se7en?  Who cares, it makes for great surround sound.  The movie is front heavy at times, but like most crime/detective movies, they are not especially known for their a$$-kicking surround effects.  However, the eerie music and effects manage to effectively bleed into the rear channels putting you right in the center of all the action.  As you probably know, my biggest pet peeve is always the dialogue levels.  Although, they are rather clear here, I did find myself asking, a couple of times “what did he just say?”  But other than these few minor complaints, Se7en comes out a winner in the audio department.

Special Features  

The special features found on the Se7en Blu-ray release are about as sick as the movie itself is.  And I mean that in a good way, of course.  I’m not usually one for wasting my time on special features, but the ones in this Blu-ray package are just too good to pass up on (even though they are only in standard definition).  And if the special features found on the disc are not good enough for you, then Warner has a surprise in store for you as this Blu-ray also comes packaged with a bonus book containing 32 pages of intense photography, production notes, insight into the making of Se7en and a special behind-the-scenes look at the alternate endings I was referring to above.  And if that’s not enough, the Blu-ray Book also features film trivia, cast bios and more.

Each of the special features on the Blu-ray disc have notebook-like menus like the screenshot pictured below.

  • 4 Commentaries Featuring Director David Fincher, Actors Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and Other Collaborators on the Film
  • Additional/Extended Scenes (SD) – Contained within here there are a total of 8 deleted scenes and extended takes.  All of these selections are accompanied with optional commentary.
  • Alternate Endings (SD) – There are 2 alternate endings here (the original test ending and animated storyboards of an un-shot ending).  Both of these selections are accompanied with optional commentary.
  • Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence from Multiple Video Angles and Various Audio Mixes and 2 Commentary Tracks (SD) – This is quite an interesting feature here.  With this featurette you can select from 3 different angle options and 6 audio options to view various stages of the opening title sequence.
  • Production Design and Still Photographs with Commentaries – This one is pretty self explanatory, right?
  • The Notebooks: Full Motion Video Details “John Doe’s” Writings (SD) – Here’s an 8-minute look at the design of the John Doe diaries and the specific look they were after.
  • Mastering for the Home Theater: Includes Alternate Angles ad Audio Between Original and New Masters (SD) – Things get even more interesting with this feature.  You can explore three areas here: audio mastering, video mastering and color correction.  And if that is not good enough for you, then listen up.  You can also experience the difference between the old and new masters (audio and video).  How cool is this?  Wow!
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD) The film’s theatrical trailer, with a runtime of 2:28, is presented here.  This trailer feels dated!

Final Thoughts

Needless to say, Se7en is a must-see for ALL Blu-ray fans of the crime/thriller genre.  The movie makes its highly anticipated Blu-ray debut on September 14th with not only remastered picture and sound but also enhanced special features and a 32-page bonus book.   You can’t go wrong.  It’s gritty, it’s intense and it’s visceral.  In other words, pre-order Se7en on Blu-ray today!



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “Se7en (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Wow, you lucky bastard. Thanks for keeping this on the DL and not telling us you had this. It’s a drive-by review, sort of. 😉

    Yeah. I’m looking forward to this myself. Man, I still have the laserdisc Criterion Collection edition of this film.

    Although, I do wish WB (or New Line) had kept the same John Doe journal design that the DVD had.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Thanks for the reference. I love the DVD for this flick. The case is really cool and all the features are awesome, but I am really looking forward to seeing the transfer quality for the blu-ray.

  3. Jiminy Critic

    Loved this movie as well, Brian… Dark, wet, creepy, great cast, interesting plot… Fincher isn’t for everyone, but he packs a whollop in this one… Wish I was in the modern world and had the HD TV, Blu-Ray player, and proper sound, but just the memories of the “box” made me want to rent this all over again! see ya soon! JC