The Raven (2012)

Posted in Reviews by - July 22, 2012
The Raven (2012)

Anyone with an interest in detective stories would surely have heard of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie’s Poirot, but who ever hears mention of the writer widely considered to be the inspiration for them both, namely Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) and his French detective C. Auguste Dupin.

Therefore, it was interesting watching Edgar Allan Poe given the Sherlock Holmes treatment in The Raven, which gives a fictional account of Poe using his intellect to help Detective Fields (Luke Evans) track down a serial killer, whose been committing gruesome murders inspired by Poe’s  macabre tales.

John Cussack admirably portrays Poe, a tormented genius with an enormous appetite for horror, and we hear many literary references to his work running throughout the film, such as The Masque of the Red Death, The Premature Burial and The Pit and the Pendulum. In an ironic twist of life imitating art, at one stage Poe says he feel like one of the characters in his own books, echoing the sentiment of the last line of his poem The Raven, which states:

“Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?”

In his life, as in the movie, Edgar Allan Poe never received the full credit he deserved for being the inventor of the detective genre when he published a trilogy of  stories about an amateur deductive reasoner who helps the police solve crimes. Many years after Poe’s death, in the first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet” (1887), Doctor Watson compares Holmes to Dupin, to which Holmes replies, “No doubt you think you are complimenting me ..In my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow,” despite the fact Doyle previously had acknowledged Poe’s influence on his writings.

Admittedly, Holmes was the superior fella but it was still entertaining watching this movie and seeing Edgar Allan Poe getting a little of the limelight he richly deserves.


A Raven Good Watch

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This post was written by James
Hi, My name is James Atticus and I have had a keen passion for movies ever since being blown away while watching 'A Trip to the Moon' back in 1902. Hardly surprisingly, I am a big sci-fi and horror fan, although my love of film extends throughout all the genres. One of my favourite quotes about cinema was told to me by Alfred Hitchcock, who said: "For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake." To which I replied, "Don't mind if I do!"

1 Comment

  • mcdee

    The Raven has a great pace to it and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I admit to not having read any Edger Allan Poe stories before but it did’t matter because this movie was absolutely brilliant

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