The Raven

Film, Thrillers
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The Raven
John Cusack, far right, in The Raven

Take a dash of ‘Theatre of Blood’, a splash of ‘Seven’ and a fistful of ‘From Hell’, give it a good shake, drain out all the juice and you’ve got ‘The Raven’ a bizarre, deeply unsatisfying fictionalised account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe.

John Cusack stars as Poe, and it’s hard to recall this actor giving a more uninterested performance. Languishing in nineteenth-century Baltimore and making a meagre living as a newspaper hack, Poe is soon back on the front page when a killer begins copying death scenes from the great author’s most famous stories. Teaming up with young detective Fields (Luke Evans), Poe must convince the local constabulary he’s not the killer, while simultaneously trying to prevent any more deaths.

For the first hour or so, ‘The Raven’ trundles along inoffensively: the characterisation is slight and the script rather plodding, but the visuals are suitably brooding and stormy. There’s at least one inventive death scene and it’s always nice to catch cameo turns from the likes of Brendan Gleeson and Pam Ferris. But then the plot begins to unravel. The final unmasking is idiotic and it all wraps up with a hilariously unconvincing coda. It’s impossible to shake the feeling that ‘The Raven’ has been badly knocked about in post-production, resulting in a film that, despite a strong visual sense, has simply no grasp on its characters or its plot. ‘Nevermore’, indeed.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday March 9 2012
Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James McTeigue
Screenwriter: Ben Livingston
Cast: Luke Evans
Alice Eve
John Cusack

Average User Rating

2.1 / 5

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Strangley enough I agree with the Timeout reviewer. If it weren't for some horror film sequences I'd've dozed off like several others around me and missed the plot twist at the end. Sadly I came out with disaapontment at such a flat one dimensional portrayal of Poe. Only see this if there is bugger all else on

Where to begin. Although the movie has a promising idea basing a serial killer off of poe's work, the movie is nothing but underwhelming. Although i've supported and loved John Cusack throughout his years in film, he is better off sticking with Lloyd Dobler or Lane Meyer. He seems completely unexcited and unconnected from his role. While Brendan Gleeson provides some life to the movie, it is all over the place and falls flat in the end. It is completely unaware of what it wants to be (comedy, satire, love, horror, thriller) and it fails to focus on the most important aspect.. POES WORKS! overall very disappointed and would not recommend.