“The Raven” falls short

“The Raven” falls short

April 26
23:58 2012

By Katie Olsen/ Intern

For fans of the famous American writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe, do not go to see “The Raven” with high expectations. However, for those moviegoers who enjoy a simply made murder mystery film, this film is an enjoyable take on an author of classic literature.

Edgar Allen Poe’s (John Cusack) wit for words is matched by his heavy drinking, perpetual sadness and a continuous writer’s block that keeps him strapped for cash. The love of his life Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve) is his one source of comfort.

However, a serial killer prowling the streets of Baltimore, Md., is using Poe’s stories as the inspiration for his grisly and bloody murders. Suddenly, Poe is forced to team up with Inspector Fields (Luke Evans) to catch the killer before he strikes again. The stakes become higher when Poe realizes the killer’s next victim may be one closest to him.

The film really comes across as a murder mystery that was using Poe as the center point of the plot.

Screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare attempted to portray Poe as a darkly humorous man, when in real life Poe was quite the opposite. Again, for fans of the real-life writer, this may come as a disappointment for those were expecting a faithful portrayal of Poe’s personality and life.

Furthermore, fans of his writing will be disappointed by how his actual stories were used in the movie.

Lines from Poe’s original stories and poems were either just recited in conversations or used by the killer as an elaborate means to perform horribly gruesome murders. The only connection to “The Raven” is that birds are seen flying around throughout the movie – it doesn’t symbolize some deeper meaning, it just adds to the “horror.”

The plot itself was not completely unredeemable, but it’s basic. The writer and detective must catch a killer who is always one step ahead of them.

It was more of “whodunnit” than a thriller film. In reality, “The Raven” is an elaborate slasher film – more corpses than blood involved.

The portrayal of Poe himself, the murder mystery formula and the plot resulted in a mediocre story that could have been so much better. “The Raven” is a movie to see at the dollar theater or rent at Redbox – don’t waste $10.

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