When the first image of upcoming period piece mystery/thriller The Raven surfaced, I thought it looked dark and atmospheric; two fitting words for a film about a fictionalized Edgar Allen Poe hunting down a copycat serial killer. Now the movie poster has surfaced, and I can add the words literary and minimalist to dark and atmospheric.
With John Cusack looking like a very dark and haunted Poe in the first image, and then this great tease of a movie poster, I think The Raven is going to be an awesome, moody period drama with a tone more comparable to Jack the Ripper centered thriller From Hell then the light fun of Sherlock Holmes.
This story naturally has literary origins, and I like that the movie poster has a nod to those elements with the quill and ink bottle. It has added in a great element of the macabre with the blood, and of course Poe is famous for his dark and disturbing narrative poem about mortality “The Raven”, and the quill looks like a black raven feather which adds another dimension to the art.
The Raven is set in 19th century Baltimore, and tells the story of a serial killer using Poe’s own works as a basis for his murders. Consequently, Poe teams up with a young detective to track down the killer. It sounds like screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare have taken some liberty with history, though perhaps have tried to stay close to the real literary figure of Poe, who was quite tortured and very interested in gothic horror and the macabre.
This film does look intriguing, though we haven’t seen any trailers for it yet. Besides a great cast that includes Cusack, Luke Evans (Immortals), Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), and Brendan Gleeson (28 Days Later), The Raven is directed by James McTeigue. Though he’s only directed a few films, McTeigue did helm the dark, dystopian V for Vendetta. If anything, that film proves he can handle intense subject matter and that he can also build some great atmosphere behind sleek action.
Check out the movie poster below.