The Raven… A “Review”… Kinda…

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Raven... A "Review"... Kinda...

To quote the raven… this movie sucks BALLS.

Sorry about that.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, The Raven.

As I’ve mentioned previously I don’t really like to review a film where my review is basically a full frontal ass raping of said film, but as has happened on the rare occasion in the past… I can’t help myself this time.

Recently Adam and I went on a little vacation to Texas, mostly to visit our exceptionally friendly friend Travis, each our weight in horribly wonderful food and to ride rollercoasters, but also to see The Raven on opening day (even got advanced tickets and all that jazz.)

I knew the presence of John Cusack (second in blandness only to Matthew Broderick), particularly John Cusack (did I mention the blandness?) as Edgar Allen Poe, would be pretty terrible, but I had hoped the mostly impressive directorial talents of James McTiegue would save the whole affair… sadly they did not.

Plot wise, the film is essentially a rehashing of Seven, or perhaps even Urban Legends, with deadly sins and or urban legends replaced by Poe stories, loosely used Poe stories I might add at that.

The performances all around are terrible. All the men in the film play to the cheap seats in the worst possible of ways, chewing up the scenery and dialing it up to eleven on the reading of every line (did people in the 19th century have a horrible disease which caused them to overact wildly?) Generally I’m a fan of this sort of broad, theatrical acting in films, especially horror films, but it just doesn’t work here. And of special note, despite loosing 25 pounds for the role and being “very interested” in capturing the essence of Poe on screen, Cusack is Cusack… maybe by way of Nicolas Cage slightly, but he looks nothing like Poe and is woefully inadequate for mustering up any sort of charisma needed for the part. Also, the women, particularly the chick who plays Poe’s girlfriend (whom I’m not interested in learning the name of) take the opposite route and play their parts as coma victims. Even the presence of the usually brilliant Brian Blessed does nothing to elevate any of the acting in this bitch and that’s saying something.

On the direction front you’d never be able to tell this is from the same man who made V for Vendetta. It appears that the not-so-decent Ninja Assassin, also under his healm, was a harbinger of things to come. The film is visually uninteresting. Perfunctory would be a better word, autopilot another. It just goes, hits the points it’s supposed to hit, goes again and does nothing else. I will concede there was one shot I liked of “the killer” riding in slow motion on horseback during the Masque of the Red Death sequence and a couple foggy shots during the climax that got a rise out of me, but nothing else was even decent in any way.

The script and dialog are terrible. Words sit down from the actors lips and waft malodorous about the screen like a turgid old man engaging in his afternoon dump. And, the “twist” of the film, if you can even call it that, is stupid, hackneyed and broadcast a mile in advance. AND when the killer (SEMI SPOILERS) announces who he is by saying in the most Adam West’s Batman of ways “Who would have ever guessed, that the killer was me, Edgar Allen Poe’s biggest fan!” (paraphrased) I burst out laughing for about the eighth inappropriate time.

For a “gory”, big budget, A-List horror film based on the works of one of the most original, dark, twisted and influential authors of all time it sadly lacks any of those qualities I just named.

Halfway OK idea, terrible execution.

3 out of 10 poorly CGI-ed keyhole zoom shots

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