HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Raven, The Poe-Mo
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2315 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: