Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Raven (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
When a madman begins committing horrific murders  inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality.

This film has generated mostly negative reviews and has actually barely made it's budget back from grossing's. The movie was made on $26 million and grossed $26.5 million. There is also 2 previous movies with the same title taken from Poe's poem. However, they don't have any connection to one another.

John Cusack has been in some movies that I enjoy such as 1408, Identity, and High Fidelity. While I don't credit him as a very good actor, he's very good in certain roles. Edgar Allen Poe isn't one of them. For one, I can't understand why they'd give Poe a well groomed goatee. Everyone knows Poe had a mustache. They went for a more over-the-top Poe.

This got me thinking of how good a movie about Edgar Allen Poe could be if given the same treatment as Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln. If there was a real historic movie about Poe with a legitimate actor I think that would make a great movie.

This film takes place during the last 15 days of Poe's life in which no one knows what happened. It opens to police heading up a staircase, following the screams of a woman in an apartment. After hearing the door lock from the inside, they enter to see the screaming woman dead on the floor. The killer somehow has disappeared from the room even though all exits were sealed. This puzzles the police.

Detective Fields (Luke Evans) brings Poe in to show him the paper headlines. Fields instantly recognized the murder as one of Poe's stories. He informs Poe on the murder and after ruling Poe out as a suspect, he decides to have Poe tag along during the duration of the investigation so he can give his input.

Shortly after, they're called to a new crime scene that resembles Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum". After investigating the scene they find that the crazed murderer has left a clue as to what story he'll re-enact next; "The Mask of Red Death".

They show up to the masquerade to try and stop the crazed man from committing another murder. Poe finds out his beloved Emily has been kidnapped and becomes even more invested in finding the perpetrator.

Poe and Fields investigate another murder that re-enacts a scene from Poe's "The Mystery of Marrie Roget".   A dead prostitute in theatrical clothing. Poe becomes desperate to find Emily and begins to fear she may already be dead.

This movie dwindles down at a fast pace and while it keeps you watching, it doesn't keep you very interested. They tried to update the old mystery movie feel with gore and effects. This film would have been much better if it took on a Sleepy Hollow approach and was darker, it would have allowed for the proper story telling that a movie of this stature needs.

The climax is lazy and a letdown. It wasn't that bang I was expecting, it was rather dull. A really good ending could have redeemed this movie a bit, but that's not the case. While I enjoyed certain things this movie had, I also disliked a lot of things in this movie.

There are things that they got right in this movie as far as accuracy, but this film overall was mostly inaccurate. There is a lot of false information displayed about Poe in this movie. They got it right with him being an alcoholic and being very blunt and harsh, but Cusack didn't pull it off right. He came off as goofy and not to be taken seriously. I just didn't see Poe when I saw him, I saw someone doing a bad job at acting like him.

I suppose this movie was meant to cash in on the success of  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), using a historical character and trying to change their history into something unrealistic. However, Abraham actually had some really cool action scenes and a pretty good story for what it was. The Raven didn't come off was well thought up or conceived. It didn't do Poe justice. I think Poe might turn over in his grave if he saw this film. I'd love to hear what he would have said about it.



  1. "Masters of Horror: The Black Cat" starring Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe. 'Nuff said.

    1. Yep, seen it. Jeffrey Combs even looked more like Poe than Cusack.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...