Movie Review: ‘The Raven’

Normally I don’t like to review films that are no longer in theater, but I couldn’t help myself this time around. I’m disappointed by the lack of attention that “The Raven” as a film received. There are much worse films out there that undeserving received much higher accolades than this film (‘Twilight’ – I’m looking at you).

I’ve been a John Cusack fan for a while, as well as an Edgar Allan Poe fan. For me, the thought of Cusack playing Poe just seemed natural. In fact, I thought he was always well-suited for the part. Quirky, a bit on the dark side, it just worked in my mind. In fact, the only redeeming feature of this film was Cusack. I wouldn’t be opposed to there being a prequel to this film reviving his role.

“The Raven” basically is a fictional account of the last few days of Poe’s life as he races against a serial killer to save the life of his beloved. The twist? The murderer has taken his inspiration from Poe’s own stories.

Alice Eve plays the role of Emily Hamilton, Poe’s love. Now, I’ve seen Alice in a few other roles and I have to say that this was one of her poorest performances. It could have simply been the fault of the writer’s but I did not care for Emily at all. I actually hoped that she would perish at the end just because I didn’t care if she lived or died. I was also annoyed by the character of Inspector Emmett Fields (played by Luke Evans). He just seemed simply unnecessary.

I thought that the ending of the film was a bit rushed and it left me feeling unfulfilled. I can’t say how I would have preferred it without spoiling anything, but I would have changed a few things while leaving the general essence intact.

All in all, I am quite glad that I finally saw this film. I haven’t bothered to look, but if the DVD has some deleted scenes included that would help with the pacing of the ending, then I might be inclined to see it. I love the fashion of that era and I can look past the obvious flaws to enjoy watching John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. But with the current version of the film? That would be a rent and return.


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