Edgar Allen Poe's, The Raven, is a masterpiece of supernatural eerie prose, or possibly a work of trickery or facsimile but the film leaves no dubious wonder - a forgettable spectacle to be sure.
Poe, a compelling character without question, was a sensationalist writer for multiple publishing houses and newspapers. He was loathed by a number of eminent writers in his day - Emerson, Longfellow and Yeats no less - most certainly due to the questionable content and prudery of the day among other things. The general populace followed suit and rather lapped it up like Marquis De Sade or dismissed the work as unwholesome entertainment. He was broke most of his life, married his 13 year old cousin at 26, and died a mysterious death one morning after reputedly repeating the same word, "Reynolds."
Like any film of this caliber, it too is sensationalism realized - The Raven tells a greusome murder tale and provides many thrills and chills. The Raven borrows facts from the historical character they are distorting and comes up with a mongoloid of sorts. It's a dark movie, nary a light in the set pieces, and thus feelings of woe are sure to incubate in your nether regions. Cusack is good as Poe, but watch out for some very poorly acted dialogue scenes. I must admit I don't much care for this kind of movie but even if I did I would not count this as one of the better blood offerings.
Recommended Viewing: The Fall of the House Of Usher (1928) - The Black Cat - Frankenstein
Bob Scale: Objective: 5.5 - Subjective: 5.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 22