Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Raven

Movie Name: The Raven
Year of Release: 2012
Director: James McTeigue
Stars: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin MacNally, Sam Hazeldine, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Pam Ferris
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

The new film from James McTeigue following "V for Vendetta" and "Ninja Assassin" tackles author Edgar Allen Poe and his involvement with ritualistic murders in Baltimore in the middle of the 19th century, right before the author's passing. The film introduces us to Allen Poe, who is financially broken, trying to re-ignite is writing career, and simultaneously marry the lovely Emily. A series of grisly murders, executed according to Poe's writings start occurring, which leads Detective Fields to seek out the author's help in finding the homicidal maniac. The case becomes increasingly dramatic when the murderer takes Emily, in an attempt to challenge Poe. It's up to the author to battle his demons and claim his future bride's life.
James McTeigue's film uses the smart screenplay from Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare, one that mixes the gruesome nature of the murders, with the literary works from Edgar Allen Poe. The film manages to create a mood of darkness and unease, and though it falls prey to some cliches (the author who's an alcoholic and who can't get past his own demons), it's an overall interesting (if slightly superficial) probing into the mind of a great author. Aside from James McTeigue's taste for the depiction of the gorier side of the murders, this is a solid and entertaining film that uses an interesting hook to tell a smartly written story. John Cusack and Brendan Gleeson are as usual, reliable in their performances, being well supported by Luke Evans and Alice Eve. A film worth watching.