Release date: 27 April 2012
Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson
Duration: 111 min
Rating: stars: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars
In the 19th century, a serial killer begins murdering victims using methods from Edgar Allan Poe's stories. Poe himself teams up with a young Baltimore detective to get inside the murder's mind and try and stop more of his fictional works becoming grizzly fact. As the hunt intensifies, Poe's own love, Emily Hamilton, becomes a target for the killer.
The film opens with a note about how Poe's final days are shrouded in mystery, then proceeds to tell a story that's about as public as it can be, as the events play out in Baltimore's newspapers and among the city's chattering classes. In other words, everything's so fictionalised that the fact that the central character is Poe is almost irrelevant. Not that this really matters, when the filmmakers work so diligently to gleefully gross us out.
Each murderous scenario is more grisly than the last, and Cusack is terrific as a guy horrified that his own imagination is being used in such a ghastly way.
But the filmmakers are having so much fun with the energetic action that they never bother to explore the intriguing issue of a horror writer's creative process. Instead, the film's a series of set pieces involving confusing attacks and chases souped up with period detail.
Thankfully, the actors have plenty of space to add sardonic wit, creating tension between them that makes the film more entertaining than it has a right to be. The mystery resolves in a way that isn't hugely satisfying, but the lively tone never lets up, even as things become increasingly grim. We know that it will end with Poe's death (the story is told as an extended flashback), and while the whodunit isn't hugely convincing as an explanation for real-world events, it's a thoroughly entertaining movie plot.
See the official movie website: http://www.theravenmovie.com
We also Suggest: Cleanskin, Man on Ledge, Limitless, Tinker tailor soldier spy, Margin Call, Straw Dogs, Red Eye.
Review by:- Lobna Hammam