Serial killer films are pretty formulaic; first come the murders and someone figuring out a connection between them, then come the investigator(s) who puzzle pieces together while more people get killed; the murderer makes a fatal flaw and finally, the whackadoodier himself either gets caught or killed. (Once in a while, the killer gets away so he can do a sequel or seven.) So, it’s in the telling of the tale—rather than the oft repetitious story itself—the details, the mood, the setting and characters—that audiences get pulled in or they zone out. Though plenty of Edgar Allan Poe fans (myself included) grimaced at the early announcements of what seemed to be a biopic with John Cusack portraying the author, things became more interesting as story details were released. Instead of a life story, The Raven is a fictional account of a serial killer who dispatches victims in the manner of certain Poe story methods. In that context, Cusack becomes slightly more palatable and this dark, stylistic trailer (released on the 162nd anniversary of Poe’s death) does create intrigue with the killer’s cat and mouse game.
I’m certainly relieved they didn’t try to go with Cusack in a serious adaptation of Poe’s life; I just don’t think he could have carried such a film. But in an unimaginatively titled thriller, I think he’ll be just fine.
Along with the trailer, a couple new photos were released:
Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and also starring Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, Gangs of New York), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) and Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2, “Entourage”), The Raven hits theaters March 9, 2012.
Cindy Davis never answers her door at night.