‘The Raven’: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Posted to Arts & Entertainment by Megan Suddarth at 10:00 p.m., May 22, 2012

Being a lover of all things Edgar Allan Poe, I adored this movie. Each of his short stories that were used throughout the movie as murder scenes were incredibly accurate and eerily real. Seeing his writings come to life in such gory and horrific ways were just as Poe, if he were somehow able to see this movie, probably would have wanted them to be portrayed on the big screen.

Right from the beginning, you know how gory and intense this movie will be. Starting with “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” the movie brings to life the terrible crime committed in Poe’s short story. Police rush to the scene and Detective Fields, played by Luke Evans, is impressive with his knowledge of Poe’s works, which leads him to figure out this killer is working hard at making Poe’s stories come to life.

Edgar Allan Poe, played by John Cusack, is bewildered by the thought of someone bringing his horror to life and immediately goes to work with the police in trying to find the culprit. It isn’t long, however, before the killer kidnaps his love, Emily Hamilton, played by Alice Eve, and forces Poe to find her through clues left behind in other murders from Poe’s stories.

The whodunit plot has a few twists and turns and will have you holding your stomach in disgust at every murder scene. Trying to figure out who the killer is might take some time and still might be confusing when it is all explained. This is why it didn’t get a perfect review; the audience has a little too much to think about that even at the end, you’re a little confused.

Cusack plays a very good Poe, with his imagined awkwardness and clear stubbornness well played out. He’s a very depressed individual, yet Cusack provides a few little laughs at the character, which adds some good comic relief to the deep, dark film. Evans also compliments the film with his brash, yet lovable detective. Together, the two make the film, and they bounce off of one another quite well.

In the end, I loved the movie. All of Poe’s short stories came to life in such horrific, yet incredibly living ways that I can’t help but be impressed. The acting was pretty great and a few laughs were provided, which always makes a horror film seem a little light. The end was a bit hard to follow but all in all, I’m quite impressed.

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