Sunday, 22 July 2012
John Cusack grumbles and stumbles around as the famous author and drunkard Edgar Allan Poe in serial killer thriller The Raven. When a couple of corpses turn up murdered in circumstances similar to Poe's stories the police reluctantly recruit him to help solve the case and he finds himself and his paramour in grave danger. Cusack is decent enough as the lead but his Poe is more convivial drunk that incurable souse and there's not much life in the script nor much ambition in the plotting so it all plays out as a fairly bog standard thriller. A shame that an author of such grisly, macabre horrors should receive such timid and unimaginative treatment.
H.G. Wells gets a shot as a hero in the romantic thriller Time After Time when one of his chums escapes to the 1970's after being exposed as Jack the Ripper. Acclimatising themselves to their new temporal surroundings both men indulge in their proclivities, ie free love and knifey slaughter, before continuing their clash of wit and will. Malcolm McDowell and David Warner add some heft to the charming script and though most of the film is spent on Wells' romancing of a bank clerk there's some genuine menace to the cold calculating Ripper which evens it all out nicely.