Rank the following neo noir thrillers

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More about Se7en from Fincher and Pitt, on the initial audience reactions:

I never thought the ending to Se7en was that dark. We've seen that kind of thing happen in movies before, and it seems like the test audience overreacted if they thought it was that dark.



1. Collateral
2. A History of Violence
3. Thief
4. Body Heat
5. Se7en
6. No Country for Old Men
7. Drive
8. Memento
9. The Usual Suspects
10. Nightcrawler



I never thought the ending to Se7en was that dark. We've seen that kind of thing happen in movies before, and it seems like the test audience overreacted if they thought it was that dark.
Are you perhaps thinking of films that came AFTER? It may not be edgy now but it sure was then.

Also I’m not sure if you listened to the video but they have specific reasons the test audiences might have had different expectations.



I never thought the ending to Se7en was that dark. We've seen that kind of thing happen in movies before, and it seems like the test audience overreacted if they thought it was that dark.
Interesting. I consider it one of the most depressing endings in film history.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Are you perhaps thinking of films that came AFTER? It may not be edgy now but it sure was then.

Also I’m not sure if you listened to the video but they have specific reasons the test audiences might have had different expectations.
Well I didn't see Se7en till about 2004 or 2005 around for the first time. Although at that time my Dad told me of the ending beforehand, but that's what got me interested in watching the movie. So I found it disturbing in a good way, but I wasn't completely appaulled or truamatized by it, like it seems the test audience would have been.



Well I didn't see Se7en till about 2004 or 2005 around for the first time. Although at that time my Dad told me of the ending beforehand, but that's what got me interested in watching the movie.
Well, geez, yeah, there's obviously a few differences here then.

First, it was released a full decade before you saw it, and since it was a phenomenon, there were obviously imitators, some of which you probably saw before their "source."

Second, knowing the ending beforehand is obviously going to blunt that impact somewhat.

Third, you said "We've seen that kind of thing happen in movies before." So my question was whether those movies simply came after it was released. What movies do you think did the same kind of thing, that were released before 1995?

Also, you didn't answer my question about whether you watched the video, which has context about the test audience in question and how they were primed. In fact, the entire video is about the disconnect between films and their marketing.



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Oh sorry, yes I watched the video. They said things like the test audience looks like they may have been school teachers or jobs like that, as one of the things they said.

I guess some of the movies I was thinking that were similar to Se7en in terms of what happens in the ending I felt have been done before like Death Wish for example, or other revenge movies of that sort, where the protagonist avenges a loved one. So I didn't think the revenge for a murdered loved one was as hard hitting since I have seen that before at the time.

I guess the difference with Se7en is the death of the loved one comes at the climax at the movie, rather than the beginning, but I still felt it was the same type of scenario, and thus no more disturbing to me.



Well I didn't see Se7en till about 2004 or 2005 around for the first time. Although at that time my Dad told me of the ending beforehand, but that's what got me interested in watching the movie. So I found it disturbing in a good way, but I wasn't completely appaulled or truamatized by it, like it seems the test audience would have been.
Oh yeah, if you had no idea it was coming, when it was in the theater, it was a shock to the system. I was 23 years old when I saw Se7en in theaters and I can tell you that moment was so dark back then everybody I talked to was pretty stunned by it. It bummed me out for the whole night and honestly, it still bums me out.



Oh sorry, yes I watched the video. They said things like the test audience looks like they may have been school teachers or jobs like that, as one of the things they said.

I guess some of the movies I was thinking that were similar to Se7en in terms of what happens in the ending I felt have been done before like Death Wish for example, or other revenge movies of that sort, where the protagonist avenges a loved one. So I didn't think the revenge for a murdered loved one was as hard hitting since I have seen that before at the time.

I guess the difference with Se7en is the death of the loved one comes at the climax at the movie, rather than the beginning, but I still felt it was the same type of scenario, and thus no more disturbing to me.
I hear what you're saying but
WARNING: "so spoilery" spoilers below
literally his wife's head was in the box. And now he's murdered the killer. His life is over. It's destroyed. And for the rest of his imprisoned life he'll have the memory and pain of his wife's head in the box. The hero loses, in absolutely tragic, like Greek Tragic, fashion and is actually the killer's last victim.
There is no bleaker way to end this film.



Oh sorry, yes I watched the video. They said things like the test audience looks like they may have been school teachers or jobs like that, as one of the things they said.
The thing I'm thinking of is that they were specifically told "starring Morgan Freeman of Driving Miss Daisy" or "Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall" and things like that. That's the relevant bit.

I guess some of the movies I was thinking that were similar to Se7en in terms of what happens in the ending I felt have been done before like Death Wish for example, or other revenge movies of that sort, where the protagonist avenges a loved one. So I didn't think the revenge for a murdered loved one was as hard hitting since I have seen that before at the time.
Yeah, obviously people are responding to something more than the concept of vengeance there. The reason for the vengeance is the part they think is "dark." As is the fact that the vengeance is clearly presented as a moral failure, rather than a form of justice/culmination of the hero's entire goal.

This is a common problem, where someone younger watches a seminal classic long after its release, and after they've seen other films build on it or even outright imitate it, and it doesn't land the same way as a result simply because they watched it all "out of order."



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Oh okay, but Death Wish came out before Se7en and I saw it before, so I thought that I was watching it in order in that sense, that I saw the previous movie first. Another one is Lethal Weapon 2, that I saw before Se7en as well that came out before, that also has a similar climax. But like you said, it's presented as a success rather than failure.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
The thing I'm thinking of is that they were specifically told "starring Morgan Freeman of Driving Miss Daisy" or "Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall" and things like that. That's the relevant bit.


Yeah, obviously people are responding to something more than the concept of vengeance there. The reason for the vengeance is the part they think is "dark." As is the fact that the vengeance is clearly presented as a moral failure, rather than a form of justice/culmination of the hero's entire goal.

This is a common problem, where someone younger watches a seminal classic long after its release, and after they've seen other films build on it or even outright imitate it, and it doesn't land the same way as a result simply because they watched it all "out of order."
I see what you mean about the Driving Miss Daisy and Legends of the Fall advertising. Would it have been better if they said "starring Brad Pitt (Kalifornia, Thelma and Louise), and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, Glory)?

Or could that have been worse if those other movies were not as well known?



Oh okay, but Death Wish came out before Se7en and I saw it before, so I thought that I was watching it in order in that sense, that I saw the previous movie first. Another one is Lethal Weapon 2, that I saw before Se7en as well that came out before, that also has a similar climax. But like you said, it's presented as a success rather than failure.
Yep. Vengeance itself is not what made the ending dark to people at the time. There are several significant (and, frankly, obvious) differences.



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That makes sense, good points. Well I guess when I saw Se7en for the first time I thought, "wow, that was really good" at the ending, rather than "OMG! What did I just watch" in a bad way.

But I think I was thinking too much of the what of what happened, such as the avenging a murdered loved one being the case, rather than the different themes they were going for as far as disturbance goes.



Oh okay, but Death Wish came out before Se7en and I saw it before, so I thought that I was watching it in order in that sense, that I saw the previous movie first. Another one is Lethal Weapon 2, that I saw before Se7en as well that came out before, that also has a similar climax. But like you said, it's presented as a success rather than failure.
One of the reasons why the ending was such a shock back in the day is because it puts forward a notion that wasn't predominant at the time, particularly after the 80s, and that is the fallibility of the so-called "heroes". Even though this is something that can be traced back to the noirs of the early 20th Century, the 80s mainstream clogged our collective brains with bad-ass cops that saved their loved ones while spewing witty one-liners and just couldn't lose. This is not to say that there weren't exceptions, but this is what was predominant.

So when Se7en came out, it put that fallibility in the forefront. The "loved one" wasn't saved, the "hotshot hero" ended with his life tragically broken, the "wise old man" was none the wiser, and the "all-powerful bad guy" knew it all and won. Paired with how it sheds a light on the overall apathy of people to some of these events, which is highlighted all through the film, and it's quite bleak all around.

The difference with those examples that you mentioned is in the purpose of that "twist". Whereas in Death Wish, it kickstarts the plot of the film, and in Lethal Weapon 2, it advances the plot towards its climax, both end with the good guy "alone", but triumphant over the evils that harmed him. In Se7en, the twist is used to kick the "hero" down and leave him on the floor. There's no triumph after that. It doesn't matter if your position was that John Doe deserved to die, the "heroes" that we've been following lost, and that's it.
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Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
That makes sense. I was probably concentrating too much on the 'what' of the disturbing scenario, rather than the 'why'. Also out of curiosity when it comes to Se7en, since John Doe only came up with this plan after meeting the David Mills character in a sense, I wonder, what was going to his original plan, if he had not met Mills and came up with this new plan. That would be interesting to know.



That makes sense. I was probably concentrating too much on the 'what' of the disturbing scenario, rather than the 'why'. Also out of curiosity when it comes to Se7en, since John Doe only came up with this plan after meeting the David Mills character in a sense, I wonder, what was going to his original plan, if he had not met Mills and came up with this new plan. That would be interesting to know.
I suppose it's an interesting thing to puzzle around. I'd like to think that if Doe's plans were always to sacrifice himself in the end, he would've found someone else to piss off and murder him (Envy and Wrath), but who knows



A system of cells interlinked
No Country is one of the few good thrillers. The other ones (that I've seen anyway) aren't.
Have you seen Se7en? And if so, I guess I would be wondering why you wouldn't consider it good.
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