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Non-Review Review: The Raven

The Raven is one of those concepts that might have been interesting to follow from the pitch phase. It seems almost impossible that anybody thought the movie, in the condition that it was released, was a good idea – so I’m curious at how various people were convinced to sign on and to help shepherd it to the screen. Of course, my inner cynic suggests that money was a prime motivating factor, but it’s very hard to imagine anybody being convinced that “Edgar Allan Poe lives through se7en in 1849 Baltimore” would prove the basis of a massive cash windfall.

There must have been something of interest here, something worthy of attention at some point in the process, rather than just the half-hearted attempt to knock-off one of those nineties serial killer knock-offs with a slight change of scenery.

A shadowy figure...

A shadowy figure…

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Non-Review Review: Silent House

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Chris Kentis and Laura Lau are both big fans of Edgar Allan Poe. In translating the cult Uruguayan horror for American audiences, the two directors seem to evoke Poe at every opportunity, from the dreary New England setting, with its early sunset and dreary overgrowth, through to symbolism lifted almost directly from Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. However, they juxtapose this classic American horror film vibe with a self-consciously modern filming technique. “Real terror in real time,” the poster boasts. While the decision to film the movie so it would seem like one continuous take is generally technically impressive, but also undermines a lot of the stronger elements of the tale. There is, after all, a reason that directors tend to favour long takes for very particular types of films.

In the silent house, nobody can hear you scream...

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