Short Film Review-Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven

Ladies and Gents before you read this review, let me introduce a new critic who will pass reviews here time to time, but be a regular contributor as well to Cinema Head Cheese. The young man’s name is Rob Sibley, and the man is such a diehard fan of film and a library of knowledge, he is going to be a great addition to their site and a part time part of ours as well. Welcome to the site Rob Sibley.


Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is an 11 minute short film directed by Peter Bradley. It’s a word for word adaptation of Poe’s most well-known poem about never ending devotion and love lost. The story concerns a young student mourning over the loss of his beloved Lenore. One night while he’s in his study, the titular Raven comes a rapping… rapping on his chamber door and soon enough the man is sent spiraling down a path of madness.
Initially I wasn’t sure how a direct, line for line adaptation of Poe’s poem would go over. It seems like a simple story to tell but even the simplest stories have to be perfect otherwise the finished project will be ho-hum and forgettable. Let’s say I was pleasantly surprised by Bradley’s atmospheric short.

Obviously shot on a very small budget Bradley is able to fill each frame with fantastic little details such as the torn pages of “fabled lore” to the bottle of Absinth. Shot in black & white, this short is oozing with old school atmosphere and a tone that brings to mind the early films of F.W. Murnau & Fritz Lang.
Louis Morabito does an outstanding job as the young troubled protagonist. Jenny Guy doesn’t speak a word but her appearance is more than effective. The Raven itself is animatronic but it more then gets the job done.
The scene stealer and the glue of this entire piece lay on the shoulders of the narrator voiced by Michael G. Sayers. His voice has an ominous deep tone to it. Sounding oddly enough like Keifer Sutherland and Sayer’s voice is what will stick with you as the end credits roll. Giving one of the most effective readings of the Poem I’ve ever heard.
I personally enjoyed this so much so that I would love for director Peter Bradley to do a feature length anthology of the Poe stories. He certainly has the directional talent. Highly recommended for fans of Poe and old school horror back in the days when they’d rely on mood and atmosphere, not blood and guts.

9 out of 10