“Quote the Raven, ‘Nevermore’” is one of the more quoted phrase in popular literature made famous from the renowned poet and author Edgar Allen Poe. Out tomorrow at theatres all across Toronto courtesy of our friends at VVS Films is what could almost be called a tribute to the body of work of Edgar Allen Poe helps to catch a serial killer on the streets of 19th century Baltimore. Get ready for “The Raven”.
Starring John Cusack, Alice Eve & Luke Evans
Directed by James McTeigue
When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper as a part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe (Cusack). However while Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story. Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe’s writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks, but when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it’s too late.
As his follow up to the underwhelming “Ninja Assassin”, director James McTeigue has delivered an entertaining entry into the serial killer genre of thrillers that delivers some great moments but also has some flaws. Leaning very heavily on the gothic horror themes throughout the film, it looks great and the story and action moves at a brisk pace for some fun period piece action. Towards the end of the third act of the film, the story falls apart as it looks for an ending and almost felt like it somebody hit the brakes suddenly rather than a natural organic build to a finish but the ride up to the finish was still a hell of a lot of fun.
Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe as the preening, pompous writer was highly entertaining as he chewed the scenery and tore into the role with a great deal of enthusiasm, it has been quite some time since we’ve seen that from Cusack and the fun he had on screen was infectious. Luke Evans has the leading man look and charisma and does well as Detective Fields and could be carving out a niche for himself as that leading man in waiting. Alice Eve didn’t get a lot to do as the love interest but there were a few other familiar faces that popped up in “The Raven” including Brendan Gleeson & Kevin McNally that gave the film a legitimately fun, B-Movie thriller feel to the entire proceedings.
“The Raven” won’t knock anyone socks off, but it is a solid entry into the genre and will make for a fun night at the movies.
3 out of 5 stars.
“The Raven” is open tomorrow at theatres all across Toronto; click here for a list of show times near you.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my feed above or follow me on Facebook and Twitter as the Pop Culture Poet for all the latest and greatest news and reviews from the world of entertainment.