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Movie Review: The Raven

The Raven

Release: 27 April 2012
Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve and Luke Evans
Director: James McTeigue
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 111min.
Rating: R

Tagline:
The only one who can stop a serial killer is the man who inspired him.

Basic Premise:
A new serial killer is terrorizing 19th Century Baltimore, MD using Edgar Allen Poe’s literary works as the inspiration for his killing spree. When this killer targets the woman Poe loves, Poe is forced to play the killer’s game in order to save her life.

Review:
This has to be every crime/suspense/thriller writer’s worst nightmare — a killer using the writer’s imagination to commit their crimes. This isn’t fiction. It has happened in real life, in the last few decades no less. Thus it makes a wonderful premise for this movie, especially considering Poe’s works.

John Cusack did a beautiful job in this movie. While I know nothing of Poe’s character, I could quite easily see him the way Cusack portrayed him. Luke Evans makes a great investigator and Alice Evans adds just the right amount of pretty to round out the film.

For those who want to see this thinking it’ll be just like Sherlock Holmes, put that out of your mind. This has far less action. It’s mostly drama and intrigue. There are points of graphic violence — the film more than earned its R rating — and people who are squeamish and don’t like the sight of blood and mutilation should refrain from seeing this movie. If you know anything of Poe’s works, then you know what acts of violence will be shown.

It’s not a box office smash, but I did enjoy this film and I can see many literary-minded people enjoying it as well. I plan to get it once it releases on DVD.

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One thought on “Movie Review: The Raven

  • Andy says:

    Ditto on expectations… I was expecting the Poe skin atop the Sherlock Holmes frame… I'm glad that turned out not to be the case. Definite note of warning… this one's not for the kiddies. There were at least two times where I kept waiting for a camera cutaway to spare us the gruesome details, but said cut never came. Yeesh. Good movie, though.