The Raven Review

Movie: The Raven
By: Orlok666
Date: December 14, 2012

The Raven: will it fly?

The death of iconic writer Edgar Allen Poe has always been a mystery. According to existing records he was found in a state of distress, wearing clothes that were not his own. "The Raven" tries to fill in the parts that lead to this unsolved death through a mystery / horror flick.

This mystery explore

Poe is considered to be one of the originators of modern horror and detective stories. So for those already familiar with the stories of E. A. Poe this film might be a little bit more interesting than for those who don't know anything of it. If titles as "Murders in Rue Morgue" and "The Masque of Red Death" don't ring a bell then this film might be one to skip, because what's left is just a middle-of-the-road mystery with some horror references

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary...

The film is set in Victorian Baltimore and the city is being stricken by murders that are directly inspired by Poe's (played by John Cusack) stories. The police recognizes this as well and Poe gets involved in the solving of the gruesome murders; his fiancée Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve) being buried alive by the killer. The killer will continue murdering while leaving clues to Emily's location. Poe has to deduce the clues in order to save his fiancée and put a stop on the killing.
Because the killer uses Poe's stories for the murders it becomes interesting for E. A. Poe readers but apart from that it leaves a seen-that-before game between the detective and the killer. For me it was nice seeing parts of The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of Red Death and The Tell-Tale Heart being used but sometimes it feels a bit forced.

 The Raven

Little relevancy bore

It's an interesting move to put Poe forward as a detective -since quite some of his stories revolve about solving murders but with all the references to his work the story is weakened and less tight.
It must be said that the Victorian Baltimore looks very well (being filmed in Eastern-Europe) and the atmosphere is there as well with all the costumes, dreary weather, misty streets and coaches, reminding a bit of "From Hell". But "From Hell" has a better pace and while "The Raven" occasionally loses pace with Poe having arguments with editor on his stories and columns -trying to give an insight how people thought about his work back then.

 The Raven


"The Raven" tried filling in the last days of Poe with a highly implausible but sometimes entertaining story but doesn't use the facts that are giving upon the writer's death: he is calm - delirious maybe- but in no means of great distress. It fails to deliver an interesting, thriving explanation that lead to Poe's death.
It's a shame that "The Raven" wasn't given a more dense story and a bit more focus. The creator of the modern detective stories is 'honoured' by a mediocre story itself. It thrilled me -nor filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before.

Official site: The Raven



The Raven


The Raven


James McTeigue






John Cusack, Alice Eve and Luke Evans