The Raven (2012)

the raven poster 2012 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Poe is an interesting character

Poe's interesting character is wasted here

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Raven

Studio:  FilmNation Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  March 9, 2012

MPAA Rating:  R

the raven 2012 killer

A black rider on a black horse…the killer is a cliche?

Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) has built a legendary reputation for horror and the macabre.  Secretly seeing Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve) against the wishes of her father (Brendan Gleeson), Edgar learns that someone has taken his love of his work to another level…and reenacting deadly parts of Poe’s greatest works.  Teamed with detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans), Poe must find the killer before it is too late.

Directed by James McTeigue, The Raven is a horror murder mystery.  The film was released to negative reviews and weak box office return.

Edgar Allan Poe lived an interesting life and died an interesting death.  This movie kind of attempts to capitalize on the mystery surrounding it, but instead of telling the real story with the real questions, it creates a rather dull and plodding horror mystery.

the raven murder victim

I just went a little crazy with my lipstick

The whole story feels really uninspired.  Poe wrote some great tales of horror and mystery and it doesn’t feel like the writers made much effort to do anything but have Poe’s creepy murder stories.  The mystery is weak, the romance is weak, and the horror isn’t even very horrific.  It is one of those mysteries where the big reveal isn’t that big or spectacular.

John Cusack gets credit for always trying.  The movie tests his ability however with not giving him much room for exploration.  Brendan Gleeson likewise has had better roles, and just gets the “cantankerous” award for being the grumpy protagonist.  Luke Evans is rather dull as the inspector, and I like Alice Eve’s Emily, but once again, the actor is let down by the role.  The movie also has a small role by Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle.

the raven edgar allan poe john cusack

You’re no Lenore.

The movie is atmospheric and the portrayal of the killings reenactments are sometimes creepy.  It is another reason that the film is a letdown because the visuals imply that the filmmakers had the right ideas, but the story let the visuals and the actors down.

The Raven is a very missable picture.  It could have been so much more since it had an interesting subject…it was just poorly executed.  The tone, the ideas, and the direction of the movie needed tweaking for it to work, and it still would have been a push for it to be a good movie.  The Raven leaves you wishing that an Edgar Allan Poe biopic would be released and erase some of the sour taste this film leaves in your mouth.

Related Links:

The Raven (1935)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response