This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
July 12, 2012
The Raven (2012)
When it’s over, The Raven wasn’t a film about one piece of work from Edgar Allan Poe, but a collection of macabre tales, which a crazed serial killer decides to bring to life. In the attempt to prevent fiction from becoming fact, a young detective (Luke Evans) enlists the help of Poe (John Cusack) to solve the murders and to save Poe’s fiancee (Alice Eve). There was definitely a Jack the Ripper feel to this film that surprised and intrigued me. I went into this film without knowing anything about the story except that Cusack was playing the role of Poe, which, in itself, was worth a sit through. Cusack does a commendable job playing the sombre writer, capturing the eccentricities of a man fuelled by his passion, or at time, madness, to write and being paired with Evans, the two reminded me a bit of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The setting. The costumes. The time period. These elements all added to the film’s overall appeal. Set in the 19th century, this Gothic tale wasn’t the horror film the title let on, since past films based on Poe’s work have fallen into the horror genre. However, the gore and disturbing images can be considered horror to some viewers. But, ultimately, the film is a mystery thriller. I think there has been some confusion about this for potential viewers and viewers alike. Some have indicated that it wasn’t scary enough, while others have expressed that the film may be too frightening. This film is rated R, so if you want to bring older children, use your best judgment. The best comparative advice I can give on this film would be the violence and mayhem of Johnny Depp’s From Hell (2001) or Tim Burton's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999). If you've seen these films and liked them, then chances are, you'll like The Raven. Excessive gore or gratuitous violence doesn’t usually raise the bar for me in films, but I would have to make an exception for The Raven, because it was the disturbing nature of the visuals that kept the film interesting, the suspense building, and the guessing of whodunit brewing.