In this gritty thriller, Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack, Being John Malkovich) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans, Immortals) to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders. Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin), the film also stars Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster). When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper--part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story. Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe's writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author's help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer's next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it's too late.
- James McTeigue
- Ben Livingston, Hannah Shakespeare
- John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Mr. Cusack works himself into a lather trying to reconcile the contradictory parts of an incoherent character. In, I am sorry to say, an incoherent movie.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 04.26.2012
It's neither grand nor grisly enough to seriously satisfy Poe-ish cravings for murder, mystery and literary allusions.Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 04.26.2012
The story has its moments, and yet there is something about this tale of a serial killer's patterning his crimes on Poe's most gruesome works that doesn't completely satisfy.Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 04.26.2012
A grimly preposterous serial-killer thriller set in 19th-century Baltimore, this riff on the final days of the author of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and other masterpieces of the macabre might qualify as literary desecration if it weren't so silly.Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 04.26.2012