I don’t really see John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. But, he does a respectable job in “The Raven.”
Cusack’s Poe is enlisted by police to help solve a series of grizzly murders inspired by the author’s works.
The story, not based on true events, is set in 19th century Baltimore. Inspector Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) is familiar with Poe’s stories, as is much of the world, although the author has declined into a penniless drunkard.
Poe’s intended, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), is kidnapped along the way, upping the stakes in this moderately entertaining horror-thriller.
For mystery lovers, there isn’t much to do except watch the story play out. A distinct shortage of suspects could mean guessing the killer’s identity won’t be much of a challenge for fans of the genre.
The sets and period costumes are authentic looking. The acting is of adequate quality. The story could have been sharper, but the tension and atmosphere almost make up for it. Poe enthusiasts shouldn’t miss it. Grade: B-