Movie review: 'The Raven'

“The Raven” does Poe no justice.
Oklahoman Published: April 27, 2012

Screenwriters Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston then pull a “Saw” on Poe, taking that modern torture-porn franchise's idea of savage gamesmanship by a serial killer and imposing it on poor Edgar.

Baltimore police detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) enlists Poe to consult on a double homicide after recognizing it as a copycat of the author's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Soon, they're faced with a pile of corpses dispatched in methods borrowed from “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Cask of Amontillado” and other Poe stories, the taunting killer forcing the author to play along to end the slaying spree.

“The Raven” reinforces how fiendishly clever Poe was. The premises of his stories still resonate as a source of our modern collective nightmares — and as an endless source for Hollywood to plagiarize in contemporary horror tales.

However, rather than taking Poe's ideas and running wild, the filmmakers wring nothing more than a few moments of gore from them. They add no suspense or scares to Poe's images, apply no originality to his plot devices.

This is just a bore; quoth the raven, “Go see something else.”

— David Germain, AP Movie Writer


MOVIE REVIEW

‘The Raven'

R1:501 ½ stars

Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson. (Bloody violence and grisly images)

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