Supposedly, Sylvester Stallone has been trying for decades to make a movie about the life and times of Edgar Allen Poe. For many, the short life of the writer who is believed to have contributed as much to American literature as any other, has been one of mystery. Poe is believed to have created the mystery genre and the detective story. Yet, his death at the age of 40 has been a mystery as well.
Even his last written work, “The Lighthouse” has been a mystery on if Poe actually finished it with the unfinished abrupt ending intentional. One might ask where did he get the idea for his works as many writers are often asked. One of his most popular works is the poem, “The Raven.” I had an English teacher in high school who offered special credit if people could recite it all the way through. One of my friends did.
Raven’s Hollow is a mystery story where as Poe (William Moseley) as a young military cadet from West Point and four others are on a training exercise in the fall of 1830 when they make a gruesome discovery. A young man has been propped up like a scarecrow out in the wooded areas. He’s been disemboweled but is still barely alive. He is able to utter one word, “Raven.”
They take his body to the nearby village of Raven’s Hollow thinking he must have been from there. Yet, no one in the village claims to know him. But it’s obvious they are hiding something. They are offered lodging and dinner for the night. A young woman, Charlotte Ingram (Melanie Zanetti) offers them some hospitality but others don’t. A stable hand named Usher (Oberon A.J. Adjepong) suggests they leave because there’s an evil entity in the village.
And because they don’t heed this warning each one of them dies a grisley death. There’s a gloomy dark tone in the movie that suggests a dreariness of a community that has been forgotten. The movie is directed by Christopher Hatton, who co-wrote it with Chuch Reeves. They seems to be inspired by Robet Egger’s The Witch, which I’m sure other viewers will notice.
Moseley does a nice job at portraying how Poe could go from an optimistic young man into the person he became. The fictional account suggests that the events of the movie affected him later in his life. I didn’t really like it but it’s not too bad to watch on a creepy night. There’s not many scares and it’s more about tone. The concept of Poe in a Murder, He Wrote type of movie might have worked better if there was a better budget.
What do you think? Please comment.