Director: James McTeigue
Cast: Luke Evans, Alice Eve, John Cusack, Brendan Gleeson, Brendan Coyle, Pam Ferris
Synopsis: In 19th Century Baltimore, a killer terrorises the city by orchestrating a series of grisly murders which seem to mirror the killings fromthe dark tales of Edgar Allen Poe. When the police find themselves unable to stop this spree of murders, they enlist the help of Poe himself to assist them in nabbing the killer. The stakes are raised when Poe`s to be wife, Emily Hamilton is abducted by the killer and her life put in jeopardy unless Poe writes his tales of terror again. As the police and Poe race towards trying to unmask the killer, time is running out for Emily.
Review: Set in 1849, it is a fictional account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life in which the poet and author helps the local police pursue a serial killer. A killer, whose murders mirror those in Poe’s stories. But what happens when this brutal killer kidnaps Poe’s to be wife? As he goes on his killing rampage, within each of his murders lies a clue to the location of his beloved.
Sounds very interesting right? Yes, it is, to an extent. But the chase, the adrenaline rush that one feels with hidden clues in films like "The Da Vinci Code" etc. is absent. “The Raven” could have been better with a faster pace. Copycat killers as a concept has been well explored by filmmakers and the American TV series. From the very popular "CSI series" to a personal favorite "Criminal Minds". So, “The Raven” offered nothing new in terms of concept. The settings too have been seen before, to be specific, in the recent "Sherlock Holmes series". But despite the lack of originality there is a certain sincerity about the film and the effort gone into making it. Maybe it’s the good performances. Maybe it’s the fact that a great poet and author and his works are at the base of the movie. Or all of the above. But the film as a whole is likable.
However, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. There is a good amount of bloodshed, throat slashing, bodies being cut in half, human hearts being cut up and examined etc. etc. But it still is a good watch for lovers of crime thrillers. Literature lovers will enjoy the fact that Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry and works have beautifully been woven into the script. So, the story moves comfortably back and forth between reality and fiction. All in all it’s a decent watch for crime drama lovers. It’s your weekend dose of blood, gore, crime, poetry, and drama. A rare and rather enjoyable mix.
Verdict: Despite the lack of originality, it is a good weekend watch for crime thriller lovers.