‘The Raven’ delivers suspense, gore and mystery

By Megan Perry

Edgar Allan Poe goes from author of murder mysteries to a character who lives out his own plots in James McTeigue’s latest movie, “The Raven.”

The movie is filled with plenty of gore, twists, mystery and suspense to make it unforgettable. Set in Balitimore in the mid-1800s, Poe assists Detective Fields, played by Luke Evans, in trying to solve the case of a crazed murderer who uses Poe’s stories as an inspiration for his crimes throughout the city.

McTeigue, known for his movies “V for Vendetta,” and “The Matrix,” series, did well at keeping the dark, demented style of Poe’s pieces at the heart of the plot.

John Cusak played Poe in the movie, which wasn’t McTeigue’s best decision. Poe seemed to be more of a wild, crazy, mad man and Cusak seems just too mellow for the part.

A better person to be cast for the part could have been Johnny Depp with his loud antics or Robert Downey Jr.’s wild ways for the part of Poe. Cusak wasn’t altogether terrible though. He did have Poe’s look; he just didn’t seem to be as crazy as Poe should have been played.

The murder scenes were amazing. McTeigue gave insight to the pictures Poe painted in his stories throughout the movie, especially “The Pit and the Pendulum.” When the Pendulum sliced through the gut of a man tied to a table, bloody flesh flew all over the place and the scream and wail coming from him  echoed throughout the room and theater.

It was a very gruesome scene, but the details and effects made it quite enjoyable to watch.  The entire movie was intense, but there also is a beautiful love story weaved within the mystery and murders.


Alice Eve, played by Emily Hanton, is of a wealthy family and the object of Poe’s love.   She was a very beautiful actress, who was very convincing in loving the alcoholic Poe.

As a result of the crimes inspired from Poe’s works, Eve falls into trouble with hopes that Poe will come to her rescue. Screenwriters Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston came up with an amazing concept to make Poe live out the scenarios he put his characters into his works.

It was just a fascinating storyline that drew the audience in and held them until the unsurprising twist of an ending.

One moment the audience would chuckle at something Poe would say or do, and then the next they would be gasping, some with hands over their mouths and others with eyes closed at the gore, at an intense scene up on the screen.

“The Raven” is a great date-night movie; there’s a love story for the sensitive, mystery for thrill seekers and gore for the bloodthirsty. The scenes were phenomenal and left the audience gazing at the screen looking intently for what was going to happen next. The numbers don’t seem to show that in the box office, leaving it at No. 7 on its opening weekend, bringing in $7,250,000.

The twists and turns McTeigue, Shakespeare and Livingston added to the story gave the movie a real Poe feel. Those who know Poe would enjoy the movie, but even those who have no clue who Poe is could still find the movie very interesting. It is a mystery thriller that runs a little under two hours and is rated R for bloody violence and grisly images.

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