I went into this film with a certain sense of dread; my fear being that the film makers were trying to cash in on the Sherlock Holmes boon by turning Edgar Allen Poe into some sort crime fighter. That, and the movie was generally very poorly reviewed. Well, I am happy to say I really enjoyed this movie. It is not a biopic nor is it a reinventing of Poe. It is, in short, a highly imaginative theory. You see, Poe, a notorious alcoholic and opium addict, went missing in the last few days of his life. He was discovered shortly before his death sitting on a park bench babbling incoherently, and while no one could say definitively how Edgar Allen Poe died, this is one screen writer’s highly creative, albeit unlikely, take on went really happened.

Poe (John Cusack) is out of ideas and out of money. He spends his days in search of liquor and income. When a woman and her daughter are violently murdered, the investigator in charge, Detective Fields (Luke Evans), notices something familiar about the crime. It soon becomes clear that there is a madman loose murdering his victims in ways depicted in the tales of Edgar Allen Poe. When Poe himself is pulled into the investigation, he is forced to play cat and mouse with the killer in order to protect his fiancée, Emily (Alice Eve), and her father, Captain Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson).

It's a 7.

This film is by no means perfect. The payoff could have been more satisfying, the story drags a bit and they seem to have borrowed the final credits from one of the Mission Impossible installments. There is certainly some gore, but I went in expecting a bad action film and what I got was a compelling period piece, an engrossing mystery and a touching romance.