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Rashid Irani's review: The Raven

movie-reviews Updated: May 19, 2012 11:54 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Endless killer fiction

The Raven
Direction: James McTeigue
Actors: John Cusack, Alice Eve
Rating: **

Sacrificing atmosphere for sadistic, blood-soaked killings, this murder mystery hinges on a clever conceit.

A serial killer is on the loose in mid-19th-century Baltimore. The investigating police detective discovers that the murders bear an uncanny resemblance to the stories of the famed author Edgar Allan Poe.

Before you can say whodunit, the writer (Cusack, unconvincing) turns sleuth to help the law enforcers track down the homicidal mastermind.

The plot thickens, and how, when Poe’s fiancée (Eve, dreadful) is abducted by the killer. No medallions for guessing if the damsel-in-distress is rescued from her confinement in a coffin. Kill Bill, anyone?

The periodical slicing-and-dicing is cringe-inducing. Worse still, the running time of nearly two hours is taxing.

Advice: try and track down any of the eight Poe adaptations directed by B-movie maestro Roger Corman in the 1960s, including his satiric version of The Raven.