One of the earliest writers of the horror genre, famed author, poet and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe met an untimely—and some might say baffling—end in the early morning hours of October 7, 1849. At the time, his death was attributed to "congestion of the brain," which otherwise meant that no one knew the cause. Alcoholism, heart disease, syphilis, cholera—really, Poe might have died from any of these things, or none of them at all, his medical records and death certificate long since lost in time. Taking quite a few creative liberties and flights of fancy, the alluring if decidedly uneven period thriller "The Raven" fictitiously reinvisions just what might have become of Poe during the final week of his life. A darkly sumptuous, exceedingly enticing murder mystery, the film, directed by James McTeigue (2005's "V for Vendetta"), reminds of 2001's Jack the Ripper saga "From Hell," or, what Guy Ritchie's overly silly, dull and inconsequential "Sherlock Holmes" movies should have been from the start.
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