This movie is set in the mid 1800s and involves poet Edgar Allan Poe. A serial killer is on the loose and murdering people using Poe's descriptions from his published stories and poems. Poe teams up with Detective Fields, a Baltimore policeman to try and catch the killer by using his knowledge of the descriptions. Even though the stories are fictional, they start to become reality and the killer is a step ahead of them. Then it takes on a personal note as Poe's lover becomes a target. Will they stop the killer in time?Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
Lack of Atmosphere and Tension Ruin Good Idea and Performances
The Raven (2012)
** (out of 4)
Disappointing mixture of fact and fiction as Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) is asked by a detective (Luke Evans) to try and help find a serial killer who is using Poe's work as an influence. Poe's deadly game gets more personal when the woman he loves (Alice Eve) is kidnapped by the killer. Real life figures have often been thrown into fictional movies with the best example being Bob Clark's MURDER BY DECREE, which had Sherlock Holmes tracking down Jack the Ripper. The idea of a serial killer using the work of Poe to commit crimes is a great idea and it's even better when you throw the sad figure of Poe in as well but sadly THE RAVEN suffers from some questionable direction and a lack of any suspense. To say the film is a disappointment would be an understatement because with the cast and story idea we really should have gotten a much better product. Cusack's performance is a good one and I didn't mind the few instances where he goes over-the- top. I think these moments were done on purpose to show the madness that his character is going through so I had no problem with these moments. Evans is also very good in his role as the detective and I thought the two actors did a very good job at playing off one another. Eve is good in her role as the love interest even though the screenplay does very little to help her and the same is true for Brendan Gleeson as her jerk father. The film's biggest problem is the direction because James McTeigue never brings any of the murders or the characters to life very well. You're really just sitting there watching the action take place but it never grabs you and gets you involved like a great thriller should. There's certainly a lack of atmosphere and there's never a tense moment to be found in regards to the killings or the scenes where they're actually trying to locate the killer. What's worse are the actual killings including the infamous murder weapon from The Pit and the Pendulum. The incredibly bad CGI effects are so cheesy and corny that you can't help but roll your eyes and think back to when human hands had to be creative and make an effect.
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