As expected, I found myself positively inundated with smart asses commenting “what’s in the box?” after I posted my first article. Well, guess what? I’ma nip this in the bud, and discuss Seven right now. Directed by David Fincher and released in 1995, Se7en, aka Seven, tells the story of a serial killer, later known in the film as John Doe (Kevin Spacey), who kills his victims based on the seven deadly sins. And, of course, it has a famous ending involving a box, where one Mills (Brad Pitt), is delivered a certain package, with his wife’s head in it. Observe.
It is a spectacular combination of varying perspectives, choice dialogue, and the wise decision to never show Mills’ wife’s head in the box, which makes the scene so powerful, and terrifying. But the terror is not just from the terrible thing in the box our mind can only imagine the sight of, but from the tension of Mills’ character, as he struggles to keep himself from killing Doe. Ultimately, he fails.
The next obvious film to discuss is of course Hellraiser. Though we get to see the contents of this box (boy do we ever), this shape has become so iconic as to be as recognizable in horror circles as Jason’s Hockey mask, Freddy’s sweater and hat, Myers’ mask and jumpsuit. It is a wonderful device, and fits into the category of the cursed object, which I really should write a separate article about, and just might. Lamarchand’s box is not cursed, but rather works as a key to open a portal from Hell, so Pinhead and all his Cenobite friends can cross over into this world. It’s power is in its design, its intricate and geometrical design.