Review: ‘The Raven’

by Brooke


The recent captivating thriller movie, The Raven, directed by James Mc Teigue, was released on Friday, April 27, 2012. The movie’s screenplay was written by Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare. The film revolves around the poems and short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, set in Maryland during the nineteenth century.

Along with the thriller aspect, it also includes a mystery. It is based around a serial killer and the murders he commits, which are inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe and the police attempt to think ahead and track down the killer before Poe’s love, Emily, gets killed. The film has a twist ending that was enticing. The movie includes some of Poe’s real poems and stories along with other made up disturbing acts. The Raven is successful because of the setting, cast, and way it depicts and illustrates Edgar Allan Poe’s work.

The setting in the movie made the mood eerie and dark. It kept the audience’s focus and attention. The 1800’s are a perfect time period for a tense movie, since everyone was still using lanterns for light and the atmosphere seemed dark. There were no high quality technological advantages, which made tracking down killers difficult. The overall milieu seemed to be captivating with ominous scenes. The places used in the film such as old taverns, underground areas, and old buildings allowed the audience to feel a creepy atmosphere.

Another aspect that made The Raven a must-see movie was how Poe’s pieces were brought to life. The illustrations of the poems were depicted well because of the details. The scenes matched up to Poe’s written work to an exact point. “The Tell Tale Heart” is used in the movie, since the serial killer hid Emily, alive, underneath the floorboards; however, the beating of Emily’s heart did not make the killer confess because of the twist ending. Another horrifying short story by Poe that is in the movie pertains to “The Pit and Pendulum.” Its graphic scene makes the audience intrigued and afraid; it presents a perfect thrilling affect. Of course, the tone of “The Raven” is carried out during the whole movie. Ravens remain in many scenes, making it foreboding and frightful. The serial killer begins to mock Poe’s writing and comes up with other murders containing messages, such as when he cuts the tongue out of someone as a clue for Poe to solve his mystery. Every scene is important and filled with action.

Also, the casting made the movie enjoyable.  John Cusack, a very experienced actor, played Poe. His balance of darkness and romanticism made the character a great match for Poe. Luke Evans played the detective. He is most known for his roles in Immortals and The Three Musketeers. Alice Eve played Emily Hamilton in the movie, which was Poe’s love interest. She also recently appeared in She’s Out of My League. Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Sam Hazeldine were also present as important roles in The Raven. The accomplished actors had roles that suited them, and were clearly chosen carefully and practiced to play their part well.

This one hour and forty-five minute film provided true historical events dealing with Poe, his real poems and stories, and also some made up fiction. Although this move was a thriller, there were some parts that included levity. It was not too scary or too dull. The Raven was a successful film that I would highly recommend.




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