This Gothic thriller stars John Cusack as Edger Allen Poe, the famous American writer of dark, classic tales. Poe is called in to speak to Baltimore police after a woman and child are killed in a fashion similar to one of Poe’s works. Poe is eventually asked to assist after more and more bodies pile up.
John Cusack is OK as Poe, he sort of looks like him and at times he sort of acts like what you’d expect. Other than that, it’s basically just Cusack playing a stock character. Luke Evans and Alice Eve are pretty good, they won’t blow you away with their performance, but I didn’t find any problems with them. The film does deliver many frightening, stomach-wrenching scenes that leave you cringing and a little sick to your stomach, if only there were more.
I’m a big fan of Poe, so I know how he died in real life and I was pretty sure they would remotely keep true to that, so there was little suspense on if he was going to live or die and I also had no investment in him as a character because of this. I want to be on the verge of tears when the main character is in danger, but that didn’t happen. This movie actually found a way to feel like a Saw rip-off and a Sherlock Holmes rip-off, which would have been great with better execution. It failed in that department, which depresses me. I think he movies biggest failure was the many moments where there were laughable mistakes. Characters used terms not yet created or they had different meanings, or just massive misspellings on clothes or parchment. Those annoyed me the most.