A Movie Review – The Raven

Leave it to John Cusack to make Edgar Allan Poe funny.

That’s not to say that The Raven is a funny movie. On the contrary, it is a story of horror and death, and even about love. It’s not getting the best reviews, although not horrible, but I thought it was a pretty damn good movie. No one knows what happened to Edgar Allan Poe in his final days, as stated at the beginning of the film, and the screenplay writers Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare (*giggles* LOVE her last name!) took liberties with those final few days and turned them into a compelling horrific tale. Kudos go to the director James McTeigue as well, for it is the director’s vision we’re watching when we see a movie. I’d also like to state how fucking refreshing it is to watch something that ISN’T a REMAKE!!!

When I say that Cusack makes Poe funny, I mean that there were a few areas in the film where his line(s) were hilarious. However, at one point in particular, about halfway through the movie, I found the dialogue outright hysterical and was apparently the only one in the giant Cine Capri theater. Go figure. It’s like Neo taking the cookie from the Oracle. Hardly anyone “gets” it. *shakes head and rolls eyes* I’m not certain Poe himself would have been pleased with the film, but as a fan of the writer, I certainly was. And I’ll tell you why…

The movie was dark both in its content and cinematography, graphic in its detail (especially with its The Pit and the Pendulum scene), and as a true mystery and suspense film, it keeps you guessing as to who the killer is. Of course, with most of Poe’s stories, we are told right away who the threat is. The stories are meant for us to witness the madness behind the threat. They are a study of insanity, which is fitting because Poe studied psychology in order to get into your psyche and scare you from within your own mind. I did an in-depth study of two of Poe’s stories used in this film for a criticism class, which means I picked them apart eight ways from Sunday. This is likely the reason I was the only one laughing in the theater at that half-ish-way point.

At any rate, I’m very glad Cusack took this role, portraying one of my favorite writers. He did quite well. Usually, I say that I’ll watch just about anything with John Cusack in it *ahem 2012*, but the only movie I haven’t seen of his is Hot Tub Time Machine…and no, I’m not going to watch it.

I give The Raven 0 Jinxes. That’s good, people. My system works backwards from stars. That means go see it in the theater if you can. I’m serious. If you’re a Poe fan, go watch it. You’ll enjoy it.


The macabre and lurid tales of Edgar Allan Poe are vividly brought to life – and death – in this stylish, gothic thriller starring John Cusack as the infamous author. When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Poe’s darkest works, a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe in a quest to get inside the killer’s mind in order to stop him from making every one of Poe’s brutal stories a blood chilling reality. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, which escalates when Poe’s love (Alice Eve) becomes the next target. Intrepid Pictures’ The Raven also stars Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. — (C) Relativity

R, 1 hr. 50 min.

Mystery & Suspense

Directed By: James McTeigue

Written By: Ben LivingstonHannah Shakespeare

In Theaters: Apr 27, 2012 Wide

Box Office:$7.3M

Relativity Media

And if I could remember the goddamn lines that made me laugh, I’d tell you, and I can’t find the dialogue. Then again, I didn’t search that hard. =)