The Raven


(2011) ★★★

Film4: PREMIERE Saturday 18 April, 10.55pm
Film4: Friday 24 April, 11.10pm

Long-faced John Cusack well cast as morbid 19th century author Edgar Allan Poe, working with Baltimore police inspector Luke Evans on a series of grotesque game-playing murders inspired by Poe’s greatest hits. Handsomely designed hokum from V for Vendetta joker James McTeigue, here repositioning the drunken and contrary Poe as a cranky hero in the mould of Robert Downey’s Sherlock Holmes. It won’t win any awards. But it certainly makes more sense than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The killer is crazy, of course, proudly informing a nonplussed Poe: “It has been an honour working with you, sir.” Swirlingly scored by Lucas Vidal and murky as Millwall on a Monday night, it would make a suitably gruesome double-bill with Johnny Depp’s From Hell.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 111min