Movie endings don’t get much more memorable than the “What’s in the box?!” scene from David Fincher‘s Se7en, wherein Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) realizes that what’s in the box is his pregnant wife’s severed head. Mind you, we never see the head – belonging to Gwyneth Paltrow – but the grim ending is horrifying and truly disturbing all the same.
When audiences first saw the movie back in 1995, well, they left the theater in a state of disturbed shock. That was of course Fincher’s goal with the movie, which is in no way interested in making sure you have a feel-good time; but Pitt admits to wondering if they had gone too far in a new interview with Marc Maron on the podcast WTF With Marc Maron.
Pitt recalled, “We had the premiere of Se7en – no one had seen it. The movie ended – her head’s in the box – they flick on the lights and I look at people. And they just kind of slowly get up from their seat and no one’s talking. Then, they just kind of disappear from the screening.”
“I remember looking at Fincher and going, ‘Oh my god, what the fuck did we do? What happened. What’s going? I thought this shit was great.’“
Of course, Pitt’s concern was unfounded, as Se7en was a massive hit both critically and at the box office. The film pulled in $327 million worldwide on a $33 million production budget, and it’s widely considered to be one of the very best crime thrillers – I call it a horror movie, personally – ever made. Proof that sometimes the right ending is the darkest possible ending.
Twenty five years later, we’re still haunted by the grim brilliance of Se7en.
This content was originally published here.