(James McTeigue, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: John Cusack is Edgar Allen Poe - writer turned serial killer hunter - in a bloody blend of 'Hammett' and 'From Hell', which is buried alive by its naff third act.
A slick concept and an assured tone are the pros behind James McTeigue's 'The Raven', which casts John Cusack as famed macabre author Edgar Allen Poe.
When a serial killer copies the murders from his books, a young detective (Luke Evans) enlists Poe's help to stay one step ahead of the killer. Racked with guilt already, Poe is forced to reassess himself and his demons when the killer kidnaps his bride-to-me and buries her alive.
McTeigue is the right director for this - he did the stylistically similar 'V for Vendetta' - and Cusack is well cast.
The big con is the killer and another typical ticking-clock finale. There isn't even intrigue into the killer's identity (more suspects and red herrings would've helped immensely) and by the time the big reveal comes we don't care for such a lazy 'twist'.
However, the film is a gorgeous watch and the cast (which also includes Alice Eve as Poe's love interest and Brendan Gleeson as her father) are well-suited to the demands of churning out historical dialogue with modern-day conviction.
It's such a shame that it leads to so little. Despite this let down, it's the cinemamatic equivilent of a blood-soaked page turner.
Catch the theatrical trailer from 'The Raven' HERE at Cinemas Online.
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