Movie Review-The Raven

October 3rd 1849 Edgar Allan Poe was spotted wandering the streets of Baltimore he was not of sound mind and he was saying the name of Reynolds. There were many theories and speculations as to how Poe found his untimely demise. The Raven gives you all the events that led up to this for us to draw our own conclusions. The Raven paints Poe at first as a lush, who cannot give up the alcohol so much so that he squandered all his money on booze. This film as it goes on shows Poe in so many lights from helpless romantic to his beloved Emily despite her dad’s hatred of Poe and also a man who is very jealous of other poets and authors, that he feels his work has been overshadowed by the likes of a Longfellow. The Raven plays out like a modern day murder mystery detective story more than a horror film. In Baltimore there seems to be a serial killer who is inspired by Poe’s stories and is committing a string of killings based on his works. At first Poe is the main suspect of Detective Fields until the killer abducts Emily, and starts a game with Poe of cat and mouse for him to go seek her out in the form of clues at each murder.

Films like The Raven always seem to get lost in the shuffle on the release slate, and that is a shame because despite its flaws this was really a very good film. I found myself while watching this film and John Cusack playing Poe, comparing this to Johnny Depp and Sleepy Hollow. They did a very good job at recapturing the period, from the great looking sets and the costumes. The leads in this film did a good job at trying to recapture the works of Poe, and the films before it. This film walks a fine line between fiction and nonfiction, and seems to enjoy trying to tell a good story which at times, when the story seems like it is heading nowhere they will give us a gore scene or a reenactment of one of the famous works of Poe. I like the premise of the Pit and the Pendulum scene, but if you know director James McTeigue and his past works, you know the man cannot create a good gore or blood scene without the really bad CGI, and he did not letdown here on the one kill I thought would be the over the top kill that would stand out. Now do not get me wrong, it stood out but not for a positive.

This film told a very good story, at times it felt uneven and the ending sort of felt tacked on at the last second, and did not fit the mood of the rest of the film but the film had a good pace and really delivered on the acting for the most part. This film really captured the feel of the 1800’s and had such a tense paranoia to it, that you find yourself diving into this film like a novel and excited for the most part at what the next page or scene will bring. I wish some of the kills had more imagination and did not come across so fake looking or CGI heavy. I hate when Hollywood retells these stories so much, because they have to give us that Hollywood ending and finalize it their way. This film would have been so much better if it was all left to be a mystery. It seems like the final sequences were page 501 of a book, and the last shot of the film was this book at page 900, after just reading page 501. It just felt so much was missing and made the ending seem so anticlimactic. I understand the concept of letting a crowd know that the bad exist, but I do not like the way they handle bad in this film in that last shot, I think it should have been handled more openly and honestly. But, those arguments aside I really enjoyed this film for the most part and would recommend this for at least a rental, who knows maybe more if you are a diehard fan of Cusack or Poe.

7.5 out of 10