RAVEN’S HOLLOW (2022) Reviews of Edgar Allan Poe murder mystery – now with a clip

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Raven’s Hollow is a 2022 British mystery horror thriller film based around Edgar Allan Poe’s time as a West Point cadet.

Directed by Christopher Hatton (Battle of the Damned) from a screenplay co-written with Chuck Reeves. Produced by Andrejs Ekis, Todd Lundbohm and Caroline Stern.

The movie stars William Moseley as Edgar Allan Poe alongside Melanie Zanetti, Kate Dickie (The Witch), David Hayman, Callum Woodhouse, Oberon K.A. Adjepong, Mathis Landwehr, Callum McGowan, Kyle Rowe, Juris Strenga, Michael Guest, Toms Treinis, Elza Klavina, Nikijs Zilevs and Marija Mara Markus.

Plot synopsis:
West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe (William Moseley) and four other cadets on a training exercise in upstate New York are drawn by a gruesome discovery into a forgotten community where they find a township guarding a frightening secret…

Reviews:
“Between a demonic raven, a tell-tale heart and a man named Usher, this has tons of Poe references, as well as some good gore and a fun monster. I like the idea of Poe trying to solve this mystery, even if it feels a lot like Sleepy Hollow. The town of Raven’s Hollow is a lot deadlier, however.” B&S About Movies

“Set in upstate New York, there are all manner of accents going on […] Hatton does a great job of creating a creepy, gothic atmosphere and there are a few jump scares for good measure. But ultimately, despite a runtime of just 98 minutes, the film drags and, unlike Poe’s actual works, the conclusion is lacking.” Common Sense Media

“Some of the aesthetics were pretty cool, but the math didn’t equal up. This is unfortunate because there were so many sparks that I expected to lead to at least one fire. Overall, Raven’s Hollow lived up to its name but not its potential.” 2.5/5, Dread Central

Raven’s Hollow overstays its welcome very quickly, and sadly, it doesn’t deliver when it comes to a great mystery or a fantastic supernatural adventure. It stays in the end somewhere between both places. Maybe it should have focused on just one element more than in the other and created something that feels more solid and satisfying once the credits start rolling.” 5/10, Fiction Horizon

“I have seen William Moseley be and do much better. It’s a shame to see him star in a movie that doesn’t work better for him. If you’re into Edgar Allan Poe or curious to see what this is all about, then definitely check it out on Shudder. It does have something going for it. Just not nearly enough to make me happy with it.” Heaven of Horror

“The excessive exposition towards the climax also does not help the narrative. Especially when other plot points could have been addressed at that time. Too many threads were spread in Raven’s Hollow and by the end the film struggles to interweave them into the narrative, creating confusion amidst the jumbled mess like Raven’s nest was.” High on Films

Raven intelligently combines folk and gothic horror elements, while still reflecting the early Nineteenth Century themes and mindsets of its characters. It is the kind of horror film that relies more on mood and period trappings than gore, but the Raven is a pretty effective monster. Recommended for Poe fans…” J.B. Spins

“Filling the film with endless Poe references like characters named Usher and an intriguing bookend, writer/director Chris Hatton pays loving tribute to Edgar Allen Poe like no other. Raven’s Hollow is dripping with atmospheric dread and period piece mystery-solving, and it is sure to please fans of the genre with its fast pace and beautifully-designed horrors.” 3 out of 5, Josh at the Movies

“Moseley is excellent as an underplayed Edgar, more imaginative than his comrades – which makes him take charge, but also causes resentment.  And there’s splendid work from Melanie Zanetti, Kate Dickie and David Hayman as the folk of Raven’s Hollow, who are ambigiously welcoming but completely ‘off’.  The raven attacks are varied, strange and striking, putting this in a slim category of reinvented monsters wedded to American history with Ginger Snaps Back and Ravenous.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“All in all, Raven’s Hollow is a solid horror flick! The film’s effective use of a spooky atmosphere, good period mise-en-scène, and some really well-crafted shots make it an enjoyable ride for horror fans. Yes, I do think the script could have benefitted from maybe one more draft, but Christopher Hatton should be proud of what he’s made.” 3.5/5, Loud and Clear

“Like any good Poe adaptation, there are plenty of twists, turns, and the odd slurp of Opium just to make things interesting. Everything combined gives pause to further blur the audience’s view of whether what is happening is real or a dream. Performances from everyone on screen were excruciatingly vivid with standout scenes from Kate Dickie’s Elizabeth Ingram.” 4/5, Mother of Movies

Raven’s Hollow is an average, by-the-numbers horror film that holds some interesting storytelling points (like the film’s romantic aspect, and Poe’s increasing hysteria), but is eventually outweighed by its shockingly bland, pedestrian plot. I will remember this film nevermore.” Movie Jawn

“The tension is ramped up nicely, and there’s great use of fog machines and dreamlike visions in the night, but the movie loses a lot of momentum in its final act with the full reveal of what our literary icon is up against. Making the lead character a young Poe is a clever way of grabbing our attention, but Hatton pours it on a little too thick with characters bearing names that would later appear in Poe’s writings…” The Movie Waffler

” …we had the perfect atmosphere that made the film feel like you could find a heart beating under any of the floorboards in the movie. The potential was there, including a cast that did their best with what they were given but sadly couldn’t rise above the stale script and story that wanted to be more than it was.” 1.5/5, Overly Honest Movie Reviews

“Cinematography in the current Raven’s Hollow, is by Michael Rizzi and music by Robert Ellis-Geiger that add to the ambience of gray terror that creeps around the village. Acting can be rather stilted at times, but then, this adds to the fright of the situation. William Moseley plays Poe as a man who uses opium to help him think. Unfortunately, as we know, in later life, Poe had a drug  habit.” The Phantom Tollbooth

“The real Poe was already, immediately after his demise, being mythologised in negative by a literary rival. Raven’s Hollow takes this further, showing a man under the baleful influence not just of drink and drugs, but of another kind of ‘bad medicine’ from the shadowy hinterlands of America’s prehistory, haunting his very word.” Projected Figures

“Thinly written characters and side plots tend to keep the script in its bind, making the story feel longer than its 98-minute runtime. In spite of these elements, Hatton offers an engaging approach towards his storytelling. By concentrating on the intrigue and horror elements within his feature, the end result isn’t perfect, but there’s plenty of fun to be had throughout to make the watching experience an enjoyable one.” 3/5, Screen Rant

“The film’s greatest strength lies in its tone and atmosphere. Fog rolls across dirt paths leading to a cemetery where the raven perches on a crooked tombstone. The film’s mystery creates enough suspense to keep a viewer engaged. Overall, Poe fans should find enjoyment in Raven’s Hollow. It’s a tale that could have been penned by the author of the macabre himself.” Signal Horizon

” …Raven’s Hollow did keep me interested and guessing about the other characters and their fates. Especially once the film reaches its final act and the bodies really start dropping. If you’re a fan of Poe’s writing you may be able to use some of the references to his work and his life to figure out where the story is heading but it’s still fun seeing how it gets there.” 3/5, Voices from the Balcony

” …some minor reservations aside, this is a fairly enjoyable mystery story which makes Poe into an engaging character in that particular mystery. Moseley does something engaging with the role, Kate Dickie in a supporting role is always dependable, and this is perhaps above all an interesting change of direction for director/writer Christopher Hatton…” Warped Perspective

Release date:
Raven’s Hollow had its world premiere at FrightFest on August 27, 2022, and streamed on the Shudder platform on September 22, 2022.

Filming locations:
Cinevilla Studios, Slampe, Latvia

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