I'll always remember David Fincher's Se7en for a few different reasons (I even had to write an essay once about the opening credits) but the number one reason this film sticks in my brain is John Doe. Now usually when it comes to on-screen villains, you tend to remember the big personalities. In the words of Buffy, "strait up, black hat, tied to the train tracks, soon my electro-ray will destroy Metropolis," types. But as scary as the big bad wolf can be, sometimes the evil you never see coming is the one that becomes the stuff of nightmares.
In Fincher's thriller about a serial killer with a penchant for Dante and the wrath of god, we don't even get to see the bad guy until about half way through the movie. But when Doe (played to perfection by Kevin Spacey) calmly walks into the police station to hand himself over, you know that this is not your run of the mill psycho. Recently I took a look at some movie villains that manage to win you over with a little charm and charisma, and Doe definitely isn't one of those guys. He's the kind of guy you would cross the street to avoid, but only if you got to know him -- and that's what makes him scary, he is completely average. Instead of letting the audience get used to the idea of him, we only see his handiwork (as gruesome as it may be), and just like Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman), we are just witnesses to the aftermath.
After the jump; Why Doe still scares the crap out of me, and his horrible plan is made complete...
But what makes Doe so horrifying is that eerie calm and conviction about what he is doing in God's name. The scene in which he explains himself to Somerset and Mills while in the back of a squad car should be the moment in which our 'heroes' can finally get the upper hand, but the result is less than successful. Instead what happens is that Doe swats away all of their arguments thanks to his twisted and cruel vision of the world. There is no happy ending, and good doesn't triumph evil, and if you you have seen the film, then you know who really wins in the end.
Warning: Language is NSFW and Spoilers A-Plenty