The Raven

The Raven: murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe stories mark him as a suspect, however he and the police must use his specific knowledge to crack the case and find the real killer. Despite Renner, McGregor and Phoenix being marked for the lead, I don’t think any would have been as entertaining as Cusack, who film heavily relies on to elevate it above a standard thriller – he nailed the hard job of playing a watchable, likable asshole. Supporting cast are also solid, from Evans doing a Nelson Van Alden to Alice Eve‘s boobs and teeth – Gleeson‘s accent though, WTF?! The story’s dark, accompanied with some explicit gore and graphic death scenes. There’s some sneaky misdirection towards the end, and the killer could have been anyone really; the post script in Paris is also a little out of tone with the rest of the movie. It’s well-directed, with some great suspense built up, particularly in the pursuit and masked ball scenes – it also never drags. The script is generally good, although there’s some tactical swearing and spats of dialogue that seemed a little obvious and uninspired for such a great mind. Sure, a killer looming over foggy candle-lit 1800s streets isn’t a new idea, but I’m surprised at the heavy critical bashing this has taken; although perhaps it’s because this is only my first Poe movie, so have no comparison? For me, The Raven was a thoroughly enjoyable, old-fashioned, ‘classical’, gothic, Hammer-esque, atmospheric murder mystery romp with a hint of Giallo – and all the better for being a blend of fact, fiction and Poe’s famous works.

Score: 7.5/10

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6 comments
  1. This is one I’m really looking forward to. Great review. Thanks for the heads up.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Le0pard – I guess it’s just making it out in the US now, definitely worth hunting down.

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  2. Shaft said:

    I have this marked in my to-see list. I just hope it’ll receive a theatrical release in my country…

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Seems to be making its way round the circuit now, no idea why it got the dry run in the UK though – must have thought it would play out best there.

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  3. I really like the trailer for this and I’m leaning on watching it when it comes out here next month. I don’t know much about Poe but it looks like a good mystery.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Should tick all the boxes for you, I was surprised how much I liked it given the critical kicking it took in the UK.

      Like

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