HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Alien Covenant
Puppe, Die
Song to Song
Lady Macbeth
Pecking Order
Straight Story, The
Monster Calls, A
Red Turtle, The
Fire Down Below
Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins
Cold Moon
Split
Pirates, The
Life is Sweet
Ladybird Ladybird
Mephisto Waltz, The
Raining Stones
Black Widow
Villainess, The
Burroughs
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Suntan
Heal the Living
Riff-Raff
Midwife, The
Mirage
Lady Bloodfight
Property is No Longer a Theft
Dick Spanner, P.I.
Cooley High
   
 
Newest Articles
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
Creatively Speaking: James Scott's Art Films on DVD
Computer Love: WarGames vs Electric Dreams
Dream Big: Elm Street vs Dreamscape
Whicker's Slicker: Whicker's World Vols 3&4 on DVD
Ladies First: Girls on Film 2 on DVD
Rock Back: 3 Cult Millennium Music Movies
Possession Obsession: Exorcist vs Amityville
   
 
  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 702 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
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
  Vikki Sanderson
Darren Jones
Tom Le Surf-hall
Mark Le Surf-hall
  Michael Joy
   

 

Last Updated: