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The Raven [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
  • Directors: James McTeigue
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 30 July 2012
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0065IFQPK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,785 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


In this gritty thriller, Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack, Being John Malkovich) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans, Immortals) to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders. Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin), the film also stars Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster).

When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper--part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story.

Realising a serial killer is on the loose using Poe's writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author's help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer's next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it's too late.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sam on 2 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
The director of V for Vendetta returns to direct yet another gothic horror tale, this time round based on the mysterious life of the american horror writer Edgar Allen Poe. The story follows a series of grizzly crimes carried out by a serial killer adapting them from the stories of Poe. But when Poe's love is taken he must work with the police and solve a series of cryptic clues in order to save her. At first glance the story is intriguing, but it never reaches its full potential. Its decidedly straight forward and is never twisty or shocking enough to be truly gripping. The script is also somewhat poorly written, the dialogue seems clunky and inconsistent and at times too modern for its setting.
However, John Cusack is a great Poe, looking both haunted and eccentric and delivering a decent performance considering the script he's been saddled with. Other cast members are less memorable, Brendan Gleeson and Luke Evans are given decent parts but again the dialogue is never polished enough. Alice Eve delivers a good performance as Poe's love but isn't given very much to do.
As for the direction, it is effective, there are some well staged set pieces, both disturbing and fast paced but its not sweeping and subtle enough. The period setting could have been used to greater effect to achieve a more gritty, realistic atmosphere, but is instead a bit too polished and hollywood to achieve the gothic, spooky setting this film needed. The soundtrack, too, is not effectively scary or jumpy enough and does nothing to heighten the tense occasions dotted sporadically throughout the film.
Overall, the Raven needed a whole new script, a grittier atmosphere and more twists in the story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Zaroff on 22 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cusack is a pleasant actor to watch, seems natural with a hint that he might be about to perform a Vincent Price wink to camera.

However, though this Poe is acceptably modernised in performance, there is a persistent name-dropping of key people from Poe's real history blended less than seamlessly with a graphic-novel stylised version of Poe'ness; there seems to be a distinct lack of the true gothic to the whole atmosphere. Fog & a thinned out forest of thin trees does not make for gothicism. And the blood was hardly super-abundant, indeed, dwelling on death as a motif or telling theme seems to gone by the way-side, becoming background shade.

The overall effect was similar to a blend of From Hell and one of the Conan Doyle based tales that was under the monicker of Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, it had that 'lets hunt a serial killer in period costume' feel. There was more a sense of Gaston Leroux to the proceedings too, which could have again made it more gothic in the crime arena. But it did not. Perhaps it was a little over-polished.

Clean, clinical with a fine series of performances. Lacking emotional details, or a sense of overt passion, perhaps there was an attempt to avoid the camp or gothic hysteria which could have made it less money but more rewarding. It will probably grow on people, benefit from further watching, but i fear the clinician that made it is driven to a youthful bent, that has limited the sense of pervading dread and sheer gravity of age, that Poe encapsulated & felt. I could have done with a few trappings or cliches just to add a little pepper, say a cobweb or a stage-hand peeling what might be a grape...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Crafty Fae on 3 Aug. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I had spent the best part of a year being excited about this movie coming out, being both a fan of Poe and Cusack, and when the critics started panning it I went with a bit of a heavy heart. I needn't have - as far as I can tell the critics may as well have been watching another movie entirely!

This is an absolutely fabulous film, with just the right amounts of gore, goth, mystery and entertainment. John Cusack gives what I think is one of his best ever performances (watch "Max" for his absolute best), playing a wonderful and understated Poe, and at one point reciting a quite breathtaking rendition of the title poem. Luke Evans is also superb in his role as the detective.

Those who are looking for a Poe biopic, that is something this film was never meant to be. It's a wonderful fictional account of the last days of Poe's life, with plenty of truths, actual speculations and nods to Poe's works thrown in.

I was thoroughly gripped throughout the whole film, and while there maybe could have been a little more suspense and excitement in the unveiling of the killer, there is very, VERY little to disappoint in this film. I waited with as much eager anticipation for the blu-ray release as I did the cinema release and will certainly be watching this again and again. Even my other half, who was dragged along to watch this with me (and who usually hates period films, is not particularly a fan of Cusack and has never read Poe in his life) was hooked and genuinely enjoyed it!

Definitely a must-watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
A modern spin on the Vincent Price-Roger Corman Poe films of the Sixties, 2012's The Raven is far from the turkey critics made it out to be but would have been more impressive had it been directed by someone with a bit more panache than James McTeigue can summon and with a better cinematographer than Danny Ruhlman, who renders much of a film that often relies on darkness and shadows for atmosphere into a flat desaturated greyish fog devoid of essential details. It's certainly the kind of pulp premise that should have made for something much better, reimagining the last few days of Edgar Allen Poe's life as a race to find a serial killer who is recreating his most grisly killings and leaving him a trail of clues to the location of his fiancé before her premature burial becomes permanent. But although CGi allows filmmakers to show exactly what happens in pits with pendulums, there's not much grandeur to the guignol in display here, while the early literary gamesmanship never fulfils its early promise despite being occasionally effectively underpinned by Poe's fatalism and depression and the notion of the killer as muse for the burned out author. The 110-minute running time also allows the film to drag in the home stretch when it should be picking up momentum en route to its finale influenced as much by Georges Sluizer's The Vanishing as Poe, while the film's postscript just feels like something clumsily tacked on as an afterthought after poor previews.Read more ›
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