Film review: The Raven (2 out of 5 stars)

John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe.
John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe.
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(15) 111 mins

Director: James McTeigue

Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans

SEEMINGLY, this film had eveything going for it - a decent enough cast and a story based on the excellent writer Edgar Allan Poe, who penned some of the truly great horror stories.

So what went wrong?

Well, for a start this movie doesn’t really know what it wants to be - a horror movie, psychological thriller, romance.

Instead we get a mix of everything so the pace of the film is inconsistent.

It starts really well and the added horror elements build the tension, but then we get bogged down in the details of Poe’s life and latest love so the mood vanishes.

The storyline sees Poe’s (John Cusack) gruesome fictional murders being re-created by some madman.

A local detective (Evans) links up with Poe in the search for the killer.

But as their efforts are thwarted and the body-count builds I started to root for the murderer to put us all out of our misery.

Cusack rants and raves with a vengeance - all seemingly to little effect.

There’s a good smattering of British acting talent - Pam Ferris, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally - all doing their best.

What was particularly impressive, though was the lighting, with candle light effectively re-created.

Trouble is, if you’re sat watching a film and you start admiring the work of the lighting crew then something’s definitely wrong.

There were also some parts of the plot that stretched the imagination.

And then came the credits and in keeping with the film they were completely out of context, with a very modern tune and graphics that would have better suited the end of a Batman movie.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley