The ending of Seven is one of the best in recent cinema history, and here’s how Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2017 Halloween costume pays homage to it.
Here’s how Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2017 Halloween costume was a darkly humorous nod to her character in Seven. Nowadays, actress/businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow is best known for one of two things: playing Tony Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the often bizarre products she peddles through her Goop brand – including jade vagina eggs and psychic vampire repellent. What first put Paltrow on the map, however, was a memorable supporting role in David Fincher’s 1995 crime thriller Seven.
Seven stars Brad Pitt as an idealistic young detective named David Mills who moves to a new city with his wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and teams with fellow detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) – a jaded, soon-to-be retired veteran – to track down a vicious serial killer responsible for a series of murders themed around the seven deadly sins. Mills and Somerset identify the killer as “John Doe,” who turns himself in and offers to confess to his crimes on one proviso; that the detectives escort him to a secret location where the last two victims of his killing spree (representing envy and wrath) will be revealed.
Seven ends on a shocking note when John Doe reveals he’s killed Mills’ wife Tracy – who unknown to Mills was pregnant – and has a box containing her severed head delivered to their location. After Doe explains that Tracy’s murder represents his own envy of the couples’ life, an enraged Mills shoots him fatally in a fit of rage that perfectly represents wrath and thus fulfills Doe’s demented design. Some 20 years after the ending of Fincher’s classic Seven first shocked film fans, Paltrow paid homage to her character’s gruesome fate with a simple yet brilliant Halloween costume.
Paltrow posted a photo of her costume on Instagram along with a pumpkin emoji in late October 2017. The photo showed Paltrow sitting in a bathtub with a cardboard box marked fragile on her head and her TV producer husband Brad Falchuk donning an orange jumpsuit and standing in for John Doe. As funny as Paltrow’s costume was, it didn’t sit well with everyone with some accusing her of spoiling the ending of Seven. In Paltrow’s defense, most viewers would have to have been living under a rock for the past 20-odd years to not know how one of the most iconic twist endings in recent cinema history went down.
Interestingly, this iconic ending almost never was. When producer-distributors New Line were trying to coax Fincher into directing Seven, they accidentally sent him an earlier draft featuring the head-in-the-box ending and soon informed Fincher they intended to go with a much less dark denouement. However, both Fincher and star Pitt fought to keep this original brutal ending in the film and thankfully persuaded New Line they were in the right. If they hadn’t, Seven could’ve ended with a dogs head in the box instead of Tracy’s and Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn’t have such a great Halloween costume – and audiences have got David Fincher and Brad Pitt to thank for that.
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