It's 1849 and the ambitious young Detective Emmett Fields (well played by Luke Evans) is called to the scene of a brutal double murder of mother and daughter. Perplexed by how the assailant escaped a room locked from within the handsome detective comes across a spring mechanism in the window with the appearance of a nail. This reminds Fields of a story he's read from famed poet, Edgar Allen Poe (John Cusack doing his best to look like Robert Downey in Iron Man) whom happens to be the city's scourge and all around deadbeat.
Poe, being the oblivious killer but is called in for questioning. As the struggling writer is questioned, yet another murder is executed in the vein of a Poe penned tale. So begins a cat and mouse game between the law enforcement, the serial killer and for Poe himself after his fiancé is pulled into the devilish nightmare of this demented killer.
Some people in life like to dress up their pets in costumes and pretend they're human and so it is with this crow of a film. You can dress up even great actors like Cusack and Evans in the best of costumes but you can't make a purse from a crow's ear. The streets of Baltimore have never looked better and the good folks that live there should be proud. Costume Designer Carlo Poggioli and the entire Arts Department should also hold their heads high but it's a pity their work has befallen a fate worthy of the killings within the film itself.
If one is a complete Edgar Allan Poe fanatic and knows his stories back to front like Murders in the Rue Morgue of which the first two murders are taken to The Pit and the Pendulum than you might slightly be entertained by the story or lack of it. Slowly it unfolds to a completely confusing and deliberate ending for which only to serve as a launch point for a franchise of movies involving killings based on other famous writings of that period.
But for the general viewer it's an endless mishmash of would be thrills that never flies like its title namesake would. Leave this turkey alone.
Running time 111 minutes.
Rated R by the MPAA for bloody violence and grisly images.