The Raven: A Movie Review

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Just after 9:30 me and a few friends waltz into the movie theater to see The Raven on its opening night. I wasn’t really expecting the theater to be packed, and partially hoping we’d have an experience like when we say  Anonymouswhich was absolutely no one in the theater just a week after opening night. But, surprisingly, there were more than I thought: approximately 20 people, possibly a little more. It’s hard to keep count with the late comers.

Starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven tells the grisly tale of a murderer killing people the same way Poe’s stories are played out. Detective Fields (Luke Evans) is in charge of figuring out who the murderer is and, as a reader of Poe’s work, enlists Poe to help him. Poe is hesitant at first, until his secret girlfriend, Emily Hamilton (Alive Eve) is kidnapped by the murderer. With her life on the line, Poe will do anything to get her back. Even if it means sacrificing himself.

I wouldn’t exactly call this movie a horror, but I’m not going to lie, it is pretty gory. Especially since the stories that are chosen are not about puppies and kittens. The Pit and the Pendulum, The Cask of Amontillado, The Mask of the Red Death, and The Tell Tale Heart are just a few of Poe’s more well known tales reenacted. Not only did I enjoy the main plot, but I also enjoyed that they made Poe how he was known to be: as a raving drunk. If they hadn’t included that I would’ve called that out as a major flaw.

Definitely a film for a Poe lover, The Raven is not a cut and dry film that would make non-readers of Poe hate it. The movie is pure fiction (obviously) and they explain the stories reenacted well enough that even a person who’s never heard of Edgar Allen Poe before should understand what’s going on. There are also a few slightly comical parts (although probably not purposely intended) that gave me a small chuckle. My advice is to go in with a clear mind and not expecting pure gold. Allow yourself to laugh when you feel the urge coming on even in this serious film. Even the most serious films can have funny parts to some viewers.

Grade: A-

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