HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Z for Zachariah
Marty
Walk with Me
JFK
Kirlian Witness, The
Kid for Two Farthings, A
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
   
 
Newest Articles
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
   
 
  Raven, The Poe-MoBuy this film here.
Year: 2012
Director: James McTeigue
Stars: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jimmy Yuill, Sam Hazeldine, Pam Ferris, Brendan Coyle, Adrian Rawlins, Aidan Feore, Dave Legeno, Michael Cronin, Michael Poole, Michael Shannon, Charity Wakefield
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1849, the famed horror writer Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) was discovered in a delirious state, his whereabouts for the last week a mystery; he never recovered and died soon after. But what had happened in that missing week? To find that out we must go back a few days as the Baltimore police were rushing to the scene of a crime in the middle of the night, hoping to catch a killer in the act. They burst into a room in a tenement to see a dead woman lying on the floor, but felt there was someone else in there with them - yet this murderer was far more devious than anyone they had ever encountered...

Although maybe not as unique as the characters might have thought as they invented the serial killer decades before Jack the Ripper was even heard of, and all for a villain that the filmmakers could apply to your basic horror thriller with a period flavour. The selling point here was to posit a theory about what Poe had been up to in the time leading up to his mystery demise, although what they came up with was less historical and more hysterical, getting poor old Edgar to race around Baltimore for a week - and this in spite of his alcoholism and general depressive demeanour - in the run up to his inevitable passing.

So if you believed this you were gullible to say the least, but part of the fun here was slapping an actual person down into a fictional scenario, all the while saying yes, this may have been preposterous but can you prove it didn't happen? Sort of like Criswell in Plan 9 from Outer Space. Anyway, you wouldn't be watching this for pinpoint accuracy, you'd be checking it out for the novelty of seeing Cusack as Poe acting out a nineteenth century version of Seven, only with Poe's texts as the basis for the killer's twisted ideas rather than the seven deadly sins. Which, you had to admit, was pretty ridiculous, but where it could have taken the giddy approach director James McTeigue and his team adopted a graver style.

To the extent that what could have been a Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes revisionist runaround equivalent, apparently wanted us to take them very serously. This was a flaw, because there was a pompous tone to The Raven; not that they should have gone the route of the nineteen-sixties version of The Raven with its silly comedy and spoofy air, but to present this so sincerely seemed at odds to what they were telling us to accept about the celebrated author they were building their plot around. This turned out to be a whodunnit as well, though you'd be hard pressed to notice for most of it and when the killer was unmasked they had to resort to having them explain who they were in case they hadn't registered with the audience.

In the meantime, there were Poe references galore for the fans to either be entertained by or roll their eyes at. If anything, this resembled a Dario Argento shocker, except unfortunately not one of his seventies or eighties cult favourites, but one of his more recent, coasting on past glories efforts, so you had the gore but the absurd plot twists were more of a burden than a delight. Also appearing were Luke Evans as the police inspector who Poe teamed up with to fight crime, or one specific series of crimes at any rate, and Alice Eve who shaped up to be the love interest, daughter of Brendan Gleeson's Captain Hamilton, when abruptly she is kidnapped not long into the movie and left under some floorboards for the best part of the rest of it. So if Alice wasn't having a great time of it in a role like that, Cusack was at least an interesting choice for the lead, although his bone deep melancholia did come across as an irritable nature, and the last ten minutes with his redemption were poorly handled. Jules Verne?! Music by Lucas Vidal.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 866 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: