Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Raven


First thing I need to say of this early hidden summer gem, best performance of John Cusack's career.  In the nineties and very early 2000s, we saw a string of great cat and mouse, serial killer thrillers (Seven, Copycat, Scream, From Hell, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Saw).  However, it is something we as moviegoers, do not see anymore and that is a shame.  I personally love the serial killer genre.  So, when I first saw the trailer, I got very excited.  I mean come on, a serial killer thriller and Edgar Allen Poe.  I knew this was going to be a great movie; and I was right.

The name of the movie refers to one of Poe's most infamous poems, The Raven and of course, most of us who went to any high school in America, know of The Tell-Tale Heart.  The film takes place in 19th century Baltimore not long before the death of Poe when a serial killer begins committing murders based on the stories and poems of the famed American writer.  The police, led by Detective Fields (Luke Evans, Clash of the Titans, Immortals) enlist the help of Poe to get into the head of the madman and help catch him before time runs out for someone he loves.

The Raven has a large ominous cloud of sinister suspense running through it's veins.  I can describe it as Sleepy Hollow meets CSI (the Las Vegas one during it's first 7 seasons when it was great).  I actually the similarity to Sleepy Hollow, which is mostly in the cinematography.  When murder occurs in the tiny upstate New York town, Tim Burton puts a dark cloud in the skies because of the darkness on the ground, as is what happens to the city of Baltimore when it gets it's own madman.  There's almost a Gothic haze throughout both films which adds to the suspense.   John Cusack is definitely at the top of his game portraying the infamous American writer, poet, and literary critic.  Edgar Allen Poe was known for being very narcissistic, pampas, and the quite the drinker toward the end of his life in 1849 at the age of 40 when his literary river was quickly running dry.  Cusack portrays his intensity and vulnerability of the situation in an Oscar caliber performance. So, if you are like me and enjoy the ultimate, who-dun-it cat and mouse game then check out The Raven or you will become quite the mental oyster (watch the movie and then this will make much more sense).

Thank you and see you at the next blog. 

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