After discounting Poe as a suspect in the murders, Inspector Fields (Luke Evans, The Three Musketeers) enlists the author in tracking down the killer—a task that Poe is eager to assist in once his fiancée (Alice Eve, Sex and the City 2) is taken by the killer and buried alive. The killer uses her fading life as bait in a cat-and-mouse game with Poe, who must hurry and piece together clues left by the killer that eventually lead Poe to make a desperate bargain.

The film’s early gore and serial-killer plot demand a story that keeps us watching even as we turn away at times in horror, but the film’s inability to serve up a sufficiently involving story is its biggest failure. The Raven should be taut and involving. Instead, it’s mostly a bore.

After paying $11 to watch this dreary exercise in human misery, you’re likely to leave the theater muttering the famous word from Poe’s well-known poem that shares this film’s title: “Nevermore.”

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: “Christ”; “for God’s sake”; “what the hell”; the F-word; “god-a-n”; “ba-tard”; “s-it”; “p-ss."
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Poe drinks in several scenes and is told to lay off the liquor
  • Sex/Nudity:Kissing; cleavage; Poe plays with the lace ties at a woman’s bosom; Poe jokes that had he thought people would act out what was in his stories, he would’ve devoted more time to eroticism.
  • Violence/Crime: Several corpses shown, often with blood on their faces or other signs of gruesome death; guns are pointed at people and cocked; a man on a rack is cut in two by a swinging blade; vomiting; a man is slapped; a woman is buried alive; a cut-out human tongue is shown; a man’s slit wrists are shown.
  • Marriage/Religion: Poe speaks of the ways of God and providence; Poe is said to have been given a spark of genius by God that was then quenched in misery; an allusion to atheism; a proposal and discussion of marriage in this life and the next.

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.