In the 1990s the horror genre was running low on ideas and a younger generation wanted new thrills – something that mirrored the music world of the time.
“I remember seeing Se7en at the cinema when it first came out,” remembers Dani Filth, telling Hammer about his first experience with the film that would breathe new life into horror. “I feel like horror and metal are oddly linked in a lot of ways. You know this coincided with Nirvana kind of killing off hair metal and all this colourful cartoony stuff and making everything just that little bit more serious. I think I could tell immediately that this was a film that was a bit more than your standard horror/slasher film.
“You’ve got David Fincher as director and he’s created this nameless city where everything is really grey and dank and bleak, it’s raining throughout the entire movie. You’ve got these opening credits with Nine Inch Nails being played over this really grainy, horrible looking footage of, presumably, John Doe piecing these bodies all together and doing unspeakable things with them.”
What follows is a game of cat and mouse that is both more violent and simultaneously more subtle than what the genre had been producing before.
“That really set the tone for what was to follow,” continues Dani. “The absolutely vile things that he did to each sin. I think the sloth one is probably my favourite, keeping that guy alive, but all of it is just really disturbing. It really was inspirational for what horror was to become I think, when you look at what became the Saw movies and all that, the idea of setting these horrific traps for people.
“It isn’t a traditional horror, there’s this noir, thriller, detective story that drives it all, but the things that you see in it mean that it has to be classed as a horror film.”
It also features one of the notorious final twists in movie history.
“I suppose we have to talk about the end don’t we,” laughs Dani. “It’s the only part of the film where the sun is out, and you get the feeling that something is going to happen, I think I guessed the ending actually, but it doesn’t dull the impact of it at all, because you’ve grown to really like them as a pairing and it is the last case one of them is going to take. Given the situation that it ends up in, it’s likely to be the last case for both of them. It’s really iconic moment in cinema and the sort of film that you walk out of afterwards feeling physically moved by what’s happened because it’s based in reality. You feel like this is the sort of thing that could actually happen, even putting no name for the city is like saying ‘This could be where you are now.’ It hits home so hard.”