Last night we saw James McTeigue’s (V for Vendetta, The Matrix) The Raven, and to our surprise we didn’t hate it. In fact, we really enjoyed it and found ourselves in “OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING? HURRY UP!” mode, anticipating what would happen next in The Raven mystery.
Set in Baltimore in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) has passed the peak of his writing career; he is getting ready to settle down and marry the lovely Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), despite the fact the two have kept their relationship a secret since Emily’s father, Captain Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson), does not approve of Poe’s alcoholic tendencies (but what accomplished writer doesn’t enjoy a little bit of whisky?). Regardless, the two have decided to make their love known at Emily’s upcoming birthday ball, where they will announce their engagement.
But when a mother and daughter are found dead and a series of murders to follow mirror Poe’s imaginative bloody tales, any plans for Poe and Emily’s announcement are put on hold, as he has become a crucial part of the case. Detective Fields (Luke Evans) and Poe team up in a “cat and mouse” chase, unraveling clues the murderer has left to lead them to his next victim, all while the killer continues to use Poe’s stories as the backdrop for his killings. And just when the two thought they had him trapped, Emily is kidnapped unexpectedly, and Poe must think deeper than the mystery he creates in his own tales to save the life of his beloved.
Overall, the gore throughout The Raven is sufficient, though nothing like we expected, being the Poe fans we are. And quite honestly, it felt more like Sherlock Holmes than anything Edgar Allan Poe-esque, with all of the code-cracking and mystery involved. But to our surprise, Cusack did a really good job at bringing Poe back to life. For anyone who was debating seeing McTeigue’s latest, we promise you’ll laugh and enjoy The Raven.