The Raven: Movie Review ©2018

John Cusack

                                                                                 Roger Ebert

                                                                              Roger Ebert


Writers: Ben Livingston & Hannah Shakespeare
Director: James McTeigue
Producers: Marc D. Evans, Trevor Macy, and Aaron Ryder
Music: Lucas Vidal

The Raven is about Edgar Allen Poe, played by John Cusack, helping a detective solve a string of murders from a mysterious serial killer. The killer uses Poe's works to commit the murders. The way each victim died had some significance to his works. Throughout much of the movie, Edgar Allan Poe, remains a suspect until his beloved was captured by the killer. The killer taunts the detective and Poe like The Zodiac Killer did to the police. The music by Lucas Vidal expresses the suspense, anger, hatred, sorrow, concern, and death within the movie.

Each of the following works by Edgar Allen Poe is portrayed in the movie.

  • 1841 The Murders in the Rue Morgue
    • Publisher: Graham's Magazine
    • Classification: Short Story
  • 1842 The Masque of the Red Death
    • Publisher: Graham's Magazine
    • Classification: Short Story
  • 1842 The Pit and the Pendulum
    • Publisher: The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843
    • Classification: Short Story
  • 1843  The Black Cat
    • Publisher: The Saturday Evening Post
    • Classification: Short Story
  • 1843 The Tell-Tale Heart
    • Publisher: James Russell Lowell
    • Classification: Short Stor
  • 1846 The Cask of Amontillado
    • Classification: Short Story
    • Publisher: Godey's Lady's Book

Edgar Allan Poe's Real Life

Edgar was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, MA to two professional actors. Unfortunately, they had passed when Edgar was a toddler. John & Frances Allan, a well-to-do couple, adopted and raised Edgar in Richmond, VA. John Allen paid for the best education for Edgar. Unfortunately, he was kicked out of the University of Virginia for bad gambling debts. John Allan refused to pay for them. Edgar joined the United States Army and began publishing poems. By this time, Edgar suffered from extreme depression and alcoholism.

Due to John Allen no longer supporting Edgar, he moved in with his aunt Maria Clemm and his cousin Virginia in Baltimore, MD. Edgar fell completely in love with his cousin Virginia and married her in 1936. He, then, published his most treasured short stories. In 1947, Virginia died of Tuberculosis. Edgar fell in a complete state of despair which ended up with a worse alcoholism problem. The one poem that showed his devotion and love to Virginia is called "Annabel Lee."

In Baltimore, MA on October 3, 1849, Edgar was found in a state of delirium. He was taken to Washington College Hospital and passed on October 7, 1849.

His most famous last words were in sorrow like most of his life. He whispered, "Lord, help my poor soul.”

Movie Parallel's to Edgar Allan Poe's Works

Edgar Allan Poe was in love with a woman named Emily. Her father was rich and disapproved of Edgar because he was poor and a writer. The collaboration between the detective and Edgar Allan Poe became really intense when the killer rushes into a ball her father was throwing. He came in like the plague in The Masque of the Red Death and whisked her away on a horse. Edgar was shown distraught and serves the killer a proposition to let Emily go. He said he would drink poison. The killer happily obliged. At the end of the movie, he meets his killer and drinks the poison in front of him. As Edgar walks in town, he sees Emily taken by an ambulance. He continues to walk to the famous bench they found him on saying, "Lord, help my poor soul.”

Movie Parallel's to Edgar Allan Poe's Life

While the Detective and Edgar were talking. Edgar disclosed how much he loved Virginia and was so distraught without her until Emily. And said he would find her even if he had to die. It was never known if Edgar did marry again, however, the sweet ode to Virginia was very much true.


It was a shame this movie was so underrated. It got really mixed reviewed which were mostly negative. The movie has suspense, sorrow, anger, and depression. The movie makes you feel it with the music and through his expression. No one could have played this better than John Cusack. He nailed what we assume Edgar was like. Cusack studied who Poe was and analyzed him to be able to step in his shoes. As a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe and John Cusack, it was very easy to see what works were included in the movie. Literature has so much emotion and can really touch a person. John Cusack captured every part of this movie.

Special Thank You to John Cusack!

The kindness of John Cusack to retweet was so inspiring. Thank you, John Cusack! You made my year! Wish you nothing, but success and love.  



Star Rating: 4/4