The Killer Is after. YOU!; SE7EN (BBC1, 9.30pm)

Article excerpt

THE darkest thriller of the last decade arrives on BBC1 at peak time tonight - to put the fear of God into any sensitive souls who watch this by chance.

Make no mistake, this is an extraordinarily powerful tour de force from director David Fincher, from the opening credits to the final, bone-chilling twist.

Two weeks after I first saw this 18-certificate film four years ago, I was still chilled by its power to make Hannibal Lecter look as genuinely wholesome as hot pot queen Betty Williams.

But that didn't stop me from rushing back to watch it all over again!

Quite simply, it's the most mentally disturbing mainstream movie you'll probably ever see since the person the killer is really chasing all along... is YOU!

Brad Pitt, who hasn't come close to being in a film as good as this one since, is the young cop who thinks he can make a difference on the streets.

The marvellous, Oscar-deserving Morgan Freeman (Unforgiven/ Shawshank Redemption) is the Inspector Morse-style old hand who knows you can't - and after 34 years' service he's all but ready to retire.

On the loose is a dangerously intellectual serial killer who overtly targets his victims by virtue of whichever of the seven deadly sins he dislikes next, be it gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy or wrath.

By aiming to rid today's modern, morally bankrupt society of its filth, we are taken into the dark and daunting underworld that metropolitan homicide detectives encounter on a daily basis.

The haunting beauty of Se7en is that each and every viewer is as much a victim as those here, one of whom has even chewed his own tongue off in desperation.

Deadly sins

Unless you're the purest monk or nun, all humans at some time in their lives are guilty of all of the seven deadly sins, which Freeman soon discovers in the religious writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - The Parson's Tale.

But what can this killing pattern mean - and how can Freeman use the literary works to get one step ahead of his prey. …