Study Guide

Seven Genre

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Psychological Thriller, Drama, Buddy Cop Film

Psych Out

Seven is the ultimate psychological thriller. Even though it features some of the most gruesome crime scenes ever, it distances itself from horror films like Saw by not showing any of these murders on camera.

The only murder that takes place onscreen is the final one, in which Mills shoots Doe. The rest of the film explores the motivations behind the crimes and builds suspense as we wonder which sin is going to be next, who the next victim will be, and what's in the box?!

The conclusion this film comes to is that the box—and the world—is filled with evil itself. Seven keeps its dark, dramatic tone by not giving us any answers and having the villain ultimately win.

Live Together in Perfect Harmony

Most buddy cop films are comedies—think Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon or Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black. And although Brad Pitt's character provides some much-needed comic relief to break the tension at times, this film is no laughing matter.

It still falls into the "buddy" genre, though, because these two guys could not be more opposite. Older and younger. Veteran and hotshot. Fatigued and passionate. Married and single. Black and white.

Over time, though, the two learn to respect each other.

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