The Raven [movie review primer]

This week’s film review is of James McTeigue’s The Raven starring John Cusack, opening nationally April 27th. Courtesy of some friends, I’ll be attending a sneak preview tonight at the Regal Theater at Stonecrest. Haven’t been to this theater since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 because AMC started their $5 films, but it’s a good theater overall so it should be a fun evening.

On to the film…

The Raven seeks to turn Edgar Allan Poe into an action hero when someone begins killing people in ways inspired by Poe’s work – think “The Pit and the Pendulum” (tied down and sliced open), “The Masque of the Red Death” (group death by poison), or “The Cask of Amontillado” (being buried alive). These motifs have become the hallmark of any standard psychological or horror-based film. If someone is trying to terrify you in a movie, chances are that Poe was the original author or inspiration. Now that someone, cinematically, is taking this inspiration to heart, Poe is brought into the case to figure out who the individual is and try to catch them.

Personally, I have no problem with altering historical figures or fictional characters to introduce them to a new audience. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, while obviously pure fiction, may inspire someone to examine the tragic history of our country. The last two Sherlock Holmes films may have piqued the curiosity to look further into the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master of deduction. However, making Poe into an action hero? I am thoroughly skeptical.

But if anyone can make me believe that this guy could be a hero…

…It’s this guy.

Review tomorrow.

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