Film Review: Edgar Allan Poe Deserves Better Than ‘The Raven’

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CHICAGO – “The Raven” is such a snooze fest that it could have the disastrous effect of turning young viewers off from actually reading Edgar Allan Poe. Trust me, young readers – nothing by Poe is this generic, dull, boring, or plain stupid. Taking the two hours of your life that it would take to see “The Raven” and reading anything by the man who inspired it would be a smarter use of your time. And you’d be less likely to fall asleep.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

Despite the pilfering of the title of Poe’s legendary tale of a black bird who came gently rapping at his chamber door, “The Raven” is not about a bird. In fact, it could have just as easily been called “The Tell-Tale Heart” or any number of Poe works as it has as much to do with them as it does the bird who said “Nevermore.” What does “The Raven” take from reality? Edgar Allen Poe lived in Baltimore. He died mysteriously, sitting on a park bench. He was a writer and worked at a newspaper. That’s about it. The rest is nonsense disguised as a gothic thriller but with absolutely none of the personality required for a story like this to work. Poe had a morbid sense of humor, a sense of the importance of the macabre to challenge the hearts and minds of his readers. There’s nothing challenging about this awful film, one that over-explains everything and becomes more of a chore than reading aloud during detention.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Raven” in our reviews section.

John Cusack, who takes none of the blame for this disaster, doing his best with the little he’s been given, stars as Edgar Allen Poe, a role that I’m certain Nicolas Cage has fired his agent over not getting since it often seems like it was designed with Cage’s trademark wide-eyed scenery chewing in mind. Cusack, naturally, goes more subtle and therefore Poe himself becomes a cog in the machine – a device for what is essentially a cut-rate thriller. The alleged suspense swirls around a serial killer who has been copying the morbid details of Poe’s work in graphic, gory detail. Let’s just say that “The Pit and the Pendulum” has never been visualized quite like it is here.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Raven” review.

“The Raven” stars John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, and Brendan Gleeson. It was directed by James McTeigue. It opens on April 27, 2012 and is rated R.

The Raven
The Raven
Photo credit: Rogue

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