Wednesday, 14 March 2012


'the only one who can stop a serial killer is the man who inspired him'

i went to see james mcteigue's 'the raven' last night. a film about edgar allan poe and his final days alive. not something i would of usually chosen, but as it was my dads birthday he was given the privilege of picking the film, and i have to say i was pleasantly surprised.

after watching the trailer and reading about the plot...horrific murders inspired by edger allan poe's stories start taking place all over baltimore, resulting in a race against time for detective fields and edgar himself, to get one step ahead of the killer before it's too late.

when i discovered it was a murder mystery kind of film, i was suddenly intrigued as i'm a big fan of shows such as csi, murder she wrote, columbo, midsomer murders etc. (i just love seeing how they worked it out in the end)

then i read the reviews...
'The Raven is a squawking, silly picture that never takes flight.'-leslie felperin (variety)
'The inherently likeable Cusack fares surprisingly well in one of his darkest roles, but The Raven's clever premise is totally undermined by James McTeigue's tactless, bumbling direction.'-shaun munro (what culture)

'A film that, despite a strong visual sense, has simply no grasp on its characters or its plot. 'Nevermore', indeed.'-tom huddleston (time out)

not that great to be honest. which is very off putting, but now i've seen it for myself i can 100% say that i'm so glad i didn't listen to all those bad reviews! i don't know what the problem is personally, but i'm no expert in the film industry so maybe they look for something else, but what i can say is:
did i leave the cinema with that rush of adrenaline?: yes
was i on the edge of my seat throughout the film?: yes
did i understand exactly what was going on from beginning to end?: yes
did i feel a connection the the characters?: yes
did the film do exactly what i wanted and satisfy the need to see a murder mystery on the big screen?: yes

it had blood, it had jumps, it was exciting, it was interesting, it was entertaining....what more do they want?

it's not something you can take children to, but it had a slight similarity to the 'sherlock holmes' films, just because there was a bit of humor and a real like-ability to the main characters. imagine a darker version perhaps?

the only thing i can think that some people would see as a 'let down' would be the fact it's described as a dark, gothic, thriller. which it is, but it depends what kind of level your looking for. for me it was perfect, but if you want something thats going to scare you to death, or have you leaving the cinema in a depressed 'questioning life' state then this isn't the right film for you. it's dark, but not too dark. it's bloodthirsty but not too bloodthirsty. it's gothic but not too gothic. if that makes any sense?

john cusack does a brilliant job as edger allan poe, i think he was made for the role. it's not a subject i know much about but after watching this film and his interpretation of the character, i really want to go read some of these famous books mentioned in the film! he managed to add a sense of humor into a story-line where there is really not much to be laughing about.

luke evans as detective emmett fields, another great character, i didn't even recognize evans in his period costume. the way the two characters bond really adds to the story and makes you desperate for them to be successful in the case.

a lot of criticism has been on the director james mcteigue, with reviews like- 'An utterly dreadful attempt at a costume thriller by the flashy, heavy-handed, vacuous director James McTeigue, whose previous crimes against cinema have been V For Vendetta and Ninja Assassin.'-chistopher tooke (daily mail) 
i think he did a great job personally. the setting, the suspension, the characters and the overall story all tied together perfectly and really helped the story come to life.

overall i really enjoyed this film, and i recommend anyone that likes this sort of plot should definitely give it a go. even if your not a fan of edgar allan poe or his work, it's still a really good story and as long as your not expecting something too deep then this is for you.

score 8/10

(reviews were sourced from

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