Horrific Scenes From Non-Horror Movies: ‘Seven’ (1995)

We all know that horror movies are supposed to be filled with well horror or scary scenes. So sometimes it can tough to truly shock viewers because they have seen it before or are simply ready and braced for something awful. However, there are times in non-horror movies where there are scenes that are more unsettling, intense, and horrific than the entirety of some horror movies. These scenes can catch the viewer off guard because they come at us unexpectedly or simply show the disgusting real side of life.

In this series we will take a look at some of the best and most memorable scary, unsettling or all around horrific scenes from a movie that are generally considered to not be in the horror genre. Let me know what you thought about the scene and share some of your favorite horrific scenes from non-horror movies. Maybe it will be featured in a future post. Enjoy!

*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*

Seven (1995)

Scene: Lust

Seven is one of those movies that is constantly debated whether it is a horror movie or not and for good reason. (It is more of a suspense thriller to me) There are more horrific and unsettling scenes, images and implications in the 127 minutes of this one film then some horror franchises altogether and it is all extremely well done. With several scenes to choose from, there is one that has always stuck to my brain more then the others and it is perhaps the most hidden and subtle one of them all.

By this time in the film, we have been made aware that there is a killer on the loose who is killing victims based on the seven deadly sins. Thus far, we have seen three of the deadly sins carried out and shot in horrific fashion. The Gluttony scene you could practically smell what the characters where smelling when they found the bloated body of someone who ate till he burst. With Greed, we see where a lawyer had cut a pound of flesh from his midsection. Just brutal. The Sloth scene might be one of the most terrifying as it pertains to what we see and what is explained of the process to carry out such a crime. But the fourth sin is where the director, David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, Gone Girl) does a brilliant job of letting your imagination do the dirty work.

The deadly sin of lust is defined as “a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion” and mostly associated with sexual deviance which is where this scene decides to focus. Like the other scenes, we see the detectives arriving to a crime with the word LUST carved into a door that leads to the victim’s body. It the other scenes the victims are shown almost to close for comfort for the viewer. However, here there is barely a glimpse of the victims legs being tied down and some blood seen as an officer pulls back a sheet covering the body. To the side, we see a man being restrained, struggling with a couple of cops screaming, “Get this thing off of me!” over and over again. Where the other scenes spent minutes at the crime scenes, here we spend mere seconds. The true horror comes in the next scene where the interrogation of that man takes place.

Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey are the stars of this film and all turn in solid performances (expect Pitt imo expect for the finale) but Leland Orser absolutely steals the show during his few minutes on the screen. This does not work without an actor who can not convey the horror and remorse that his character just went through by simply explaining it to us through words and not sight. We witness his panic at the crime scene but he really sells this working opposite of the stoic Freeman in a confined interrogation room. So distraught while he explains the vile act that he was forced to commit by “John Doe” that he can barely speak and breath at the same time from shock in which he conveys that he is simply a victim in all of this as well. He explains how he was forced him to wear, what was only shown in a Polaroid, a strap on device and to penetrate the prostitute victim while John Doe held a gun to his head and his mouth. Doesn’t sound too bad till you see that device in the picture.

Yes, that is a deadly and sharp device attached to the strap on that he was forced to rape the woman with till she was dead.

What helps this scene hit home as well, is the cuts to the other interrogation room where the man from the booth at the parlor is being questioned by Mills. He simply explains, “that’s life, isn’t it…”